Friday, January 19, 2007

The True Power of Sharing

It has been said that, "If you give, you shall receive". This saying is often used to refer to giving of your time, your effort, your money or other material things before you can reasonably expect to receive any of these things from others. All of these things can be very valuable, but one of the most powerful things to share, and also one of the easiest, is thoughts and ideas.

When we consider sharing something, we often think of this as parting with something. Share some of your money and you will no longer be able to spend it yourself. Share some chocolate and whoever you share it with gets to taste this delicious substance, not you. At least you won't taste all of it. Sharing, in these cases, means parting with. It means you give something away that you will no longer benefit from directly. This is not the case with thoughts and ideas. When you share a thought or a good idea that doesn't mean you lose it. It doesn't even mean there is any less left for you. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite is true. You can truly be enriched by the thoughts and ideas you share with other people. Share some wisdom with someone else and now two can benefit from it. Even though there was no cost involved for you in sharing it, to the person on the receiving end it could represent a huge value.

Unfortunately we often try to keep things for ourselves in order to keep a competitive advantage. To 'keep the edge' so to speak. This is understandable and can sometimes be a good strategy. Certain information can be extremely valuable and if it really gives you this 'edge' then keeping it to yourself may be the smart thing to do. In reality however most of us don't possess any information that really offers sustainable advantage over others. The truth is that the real advantage in this day and age, with the Internet at everybody's fingertips, is no longer in any single piece of information. The people that have been most successful have done so by combining ideas and concepts into combinations that others haven't thought of. From this perspective not sharing your ideas may actually rob you of many opportunities and as such cost you a great deal.

In business, as well as in personal life, breakthroughs often come from a combination of ideas. Rarely is one man's creative idea completely fabricated by his own mind. The tossing back and forth of ideas and concepts usually plays a critical role in the development of new ideas. In discussing the potential application of a certain technology with a customer, this customer can come up with ideas that you would have never thought of. After all it's the customer's business and he probably knows more about it than you do. Especially when you're talking to an entrepreneurial type of individual. Most entrepreneurs are always looking for new opportunities to improve their bottom line and expand their business. Now why would he share his ideas with you if you haven't shared anything with him? Good question. You could of course turn the situation around; why share anything with him if he hasn't shared anything with you? Although this may be a fair question, it isn't really relevant. After all this is exactly the deadlock situation that hampers so much creativity. Of course there is always a risk of someone running off with one of your ideas. So it wouldn't be a bad idea to protect your idea or at least a part of it. You could for instance leave out some details that aren't necessary to paint the big picture but would surely be critical in bringing the idea to fruition.

The human brain makes connections based on our frame of reference. Since every person’s frame of reference is unique it's possible for a group of 1000 individuals to listen to one and the same speech, talk or idea and yet, have all of them interpret it differently. As a matter of fact, this is not just possible; it will inevitably be the case. Since no two persons share the exact same background, body of knowledge and life experiences. These differences in interpretations could therefore lead to very different concepts and ideas a person could come up with. That is where one of the most powerful aspects of sharing comes into play. Your ideas may spark a new idea in someone else that you would never have thought of by yourself, which in turn sparks another idea in you that they would never have thought of by themselves. Of course this doesn't have to be a conscious sharing of ideas. Most of the time it will happen without you actually being aware of it. A thought will come up that you think is your own when in fact it was initially put their by someone else. In your quest for ideas your mind dug up this idea and perhaps linked it to some other fragments in your memory banks that, put together, formed a new breakthrough idea.

Even though this is mostly unconscious, it's still a good strategy to share more ideas on a consistent basis. Think of it like this; every time you share something a number of things happen. For starters, you deposit something into someone else's memory bank. You never know what this little piece of information, this concept will do for the person you share it with. Perhaps it does nothing for them but it eventually does for someone else they share it with. This person may or may not share something with you in return. But there is a universal law that states that: "If you give out, something is coming back". The law doesn't say that it's coming back on Friday at 10:00am, when you might need it the most. It just says "It's coming back". In many cases when you share something, that person will feel obligated to share something with you. Perhaps right away, perhaps a month from now. Not necessarily out of obligation, but out of human nature. This is the law of reciprocity at work. Whenever they share something with you, that concept will be stored inside your head. Perhaps you may not see an immediate use for it. In many cases you probably never will. However you never know when and in what situation their idea may turn out to be useful. Perhaps in combination with some other ideas that have yet to be shared with you by other people.

But guess what? If you don't share your thoughts with them, they may not share theirs with you. And because you didn't share you missed out on that one little idea that you needed to put everything in its place. Who knows how much you will miss out on because of that? It's safe to say that not sharing could cost you infinitely more than keeping it all to yourself would ever earn you. And that is just too much of a price to pay. So whenever you have the opportunity to share some worthwhile thoughts with another person, do so. It may work wonders, for you and them, and it won't cost a thing.

Dedicated to your Success,
Trent Brownrigg
* Home Based Businesses
* Home Business Team
* Work at Home Based Business
* Honest Income Program

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