Strength #1 – Connectedness

by on Mar.15, 2013, under Personal

From the book:

 Things happen for a reason.  You are sure of it.  You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected.  Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger.  Some may call it the collective unconscious.  Others may label it spirit or life force.  But whatever your word of choice, you gain confidence from knowing that we are not isolated from one another or from the earth and the life on it.  This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities.  If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves.  We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves.  Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system.  You are considerate, caring, and accepting.  Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures.  Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives.  The exact articles of your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong.  It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life’s mysteries.

What does Connectedness mean to me?

Connectedness is obvious to me.  I look back at my past and I can point to a few moments in time (literally a minute) where if I hadn’t been in the right place at the right time, the event wouldn’t have happened at all, and I’d be in a very different place in my life right now as a result.  I met my wife at a rock concert that I went to on a whim with a friend.  I only had that friend to begin with because he’s someone I’d met through my ex-wife.  I only met my ex-wife by chance on IM with another one of my friends so many years ago, and if I hadn’t logged in then I may never have talked to her.  If I’d never met her, I’d never have met him, and I’d never have met my current wife.  Who knows what my life would be like now?

Also, I got my first (real) job at Best Buy because I happened to run into a friend who worked there and he told me I should apply.  I got my current job at Stryker because of someone I met at that job at best buy.  What if I hadn’t walked in to Best Buy that day and run into my friend?

Now, to link the two back together, it was my current wife who encouraged me to go get my pilot’s license, and it is my current job that gave me the opportunity to meet some Civil Air Patrol members…  so without both of those paths to this point, I might not be a pilot joining the civil air patrol right now.

All of these examples carry on and on into other parts of my life.  I see it everywhere, all the time.  Each thread intertwines with the others.  They make life a beautifully complicated mess.

Where does Connectedness show evidence in my life?

I gave some examples of actual Connectedness above, but the theme itself is the part that basically forces me to see things in this way.  My political views are driven pretty heavily by my Connectedness theme, for example.  I’d rather not go in to what they are here (I’ll save that for another post) but suffice to say the reasons I think the world should be the way I do is because of things I’ve seen with my own eyes.  I tend to not believe that things have a simple cause and effect relationship because underneath it all there are connections between events and circumstances that, on the surface, appear entirely unrelated.

How can I use Connectedness to my advantage?

The Connectedness theme has some baked-in advantages.  Just by the merit of having this theme as prevalent as it is, naturally connections are made, mentally, between the potential impact of various events and circumstances.  That said, I think it is worth mentioning that one of the advantages of knowing that Connectedness is a strong theme for me is that I can understand better why I’m making connections between items that aren’t, on the surface, related.  In understanding why I might be concerned about something that others seemingly aren’t, I might be able to convince myself not to stand in the way of something just because of an instinct.

I definitely see evidence of the learner theme and I’m glad I know more about it now, and how that theme affects my demeanor.  Hopefully after looking at all of my top five themes, I can have a better understanding of what makes me tick, and why I think the way I do.

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