Wednesday, 26 March 2014
The entrepreneurial element in love and happiness. How to be fearless. My approach to personal development. Taking initiative leads to continuous improvement
Aristotle was a great philosopher, but entrepreneurship was one thing that he never managed to understand. In the Nicomachean Ethics, his essay on justice and morality, he views society as a market where human desires are stable, where the demand for each product is constant, and each purchase has a predictable price.
One does not need to look at the world for long to rate Aristotle's view as highly unrealistic. The truth is that, in the field of work and commerce, prices vary incessantly. New products appear daily on the market. Growing ventures create jobs, while old-fashioned industries are reducing the number of their employees. Trading conditions change, markets move, and money circulates.
Economic growth begins with one person making the first move
Businessmen are conscious of the fact that initiative leads to success. Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of innovation. Economic growth begins with one person making the first move and showing the way. In order to surpass average results, a man has to step out of the routine.
In the world of business, clients and profits are the result of entrepreneurship. A company that has profitable sales can always borrow money. Bankers seldom refuse a loan to businesses that generate positive cash-flow. Personal initiative fuels innovation and drives companies to higher levels of performance.
The situation is not much different in the area of relationships. Friendship and love grow stale without personal initiative. Developing a happy social life requires a certain type of entrepreneurship. This is a factor that cannot be replaced by any amount of wishful thinking.
The entrepreneurial factor in love and happiness is frequently underrated
Unfortunately, the entrepreneurial factor in love and happiness is frequently underrated or denied. Television repeatedly shows stories where success happens by chance. Films love to portray heroes who attain happiness by coincidence without any effort from their side. Those tales are mostly made-up and a wise man should never take them as a fair representation of reality.
Entrepreneurial activity involves shifting resources through time and space. A businessman might, for instance, borrow money at 6% interest in order to invest it for a 10% return. If he does that several times with growing sums of money, chances are that he will become very wealthy.
The example can be applied to the field of relationships. If you wish to enjoy a great social life in the future, you should make the effort to establish new contacts regularly. Even if you just meet one new person per week, sooner or later, you will get to know a few individuals who share your values.
Entrepreneurs are always alert to unexpected opportunities
Friendships and love relations can begin in the most unusual circumstances. The key requirement is that individuals should be open to an initial contact. Brief introductions may lead to further interactions that develop into long-term relationships. This is why entrepreneurs are always alert to unexpected opportunities and love to meet new people. You will observe the same attitude in those who enjoy happy social lives.
Entrepreneurial minds can be spotted by their extreme impatience at school or during their apprenticeship. They dislike slow motion and are driven towards activities that produce tangible results. They want to lead a life of growing improvement and continuous progress. They view speed as a synonym of efficiency.
Let me encourage you to adopt an entrepreneurial attitude in the area of personal relationships. Everybody has constrains in terms of time and resources, but those limitations should not prevent you from seeking out opportunities to meet new people whom you might find interesting.
Conferences that revolve around your favourite subjects constitute great places for meeting like-minded individuals. In the majority of cases, those initial contacts will not lead to friendship or love and that is precisely the way it should be.
Entrepreneurs are only interested in opportunities that are right for them. They know that, before they can embrace one successful idea, they will have to discard many others that lead nowhere. Possibilities are infinite, but resources are always limited.
Accepting that choices have to be made
Applying entrepreneurial principles to the field of personal relationships entails accepting that choices have to be made. The following three ideas might help you improve your effectiveness in developing new social contacts, either for friendship or love:
1. The world is asymmetric
The notes in the agendas of entrepreneurs are often disorganized. Possibilities for personal growth and social development seldom present themselves in a predictable manner. Meeting new people can be a messy, uncomfortable process.
When personal contacts go beyond a brief introduction, we often realize that our first impression of someone was wrong. Language and cultural differences can be misleading. The world is not arranged according to geometric patterns. Social opportunities fluctuate and can be highly asymmetric. The best you can do is to view the world as a playing ground for your individual initiative.
2. Targets move
Entrepreneurs realize that new possibilities are continuously being created. As time goes by, windows of opportunity appear and disappear. The same phenomenon takes place in the field of personal relationships. Environments change. Tastes evolve. People come and go.
There is not just one unique place where you can meet potential friends or a soul mate. There is not just one day of the week when you can make new acquaintances. Targets move as you breathe. A person that you meet by chance might be exactly the sort of friend you need at this moment, or not at all. The more people you meet, the higher your chances of finding like-minded individuals.
3. Perspective changes perception
When a businessman decides to enter a new market, his resolution affects his attitude towards that field. If you are considering purchasing a car of a specific type, you will tend to focus your attention on those vehicles when you are driving on the highway.
The proportion of those cars in the street traffic would be the same as last week, but due to your change of perspective, you are now more aware of their presence. The same goes for opportunities of personal growth and social development.
If you adopt an entrepreneurial attitude towards friendship and love, you will be able to detect hidden possibilities in otherwise boring meetings. As you become more used to taking initiative, your results and self-confidence will improve, if only because you will discard quickly those relationships that don't work.
Taking initiative leads to continuous improvement
The ability to develop great relationships can be cultivated like any other. Taking initiative, seeking opportunities, and learning from mistakes lead to continuous improvement. At some point, when an entrepreneurial attitude towards relationships becomes your second-nature, you will have acquired a fundamental skill to further your personal happiness.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book about how to be rational "The 10 Principles of Rational Living"
[Image by katsrcool under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]