The Company You Keep: How the Group Benefits the Individual

Sunday, January 02, 2011
“Be careful of the company you keep,” Mother would say. “One bad apple can spoil the bunch.” Such was my introduction to the dangers of the Group Mind. Most groups I came into contact with were indeed narrow-minded and tended to prefer to hold individuals back from exceeding the group average. This Tribal Mentality is evident not only in groups of peers but in families and work environments as well. Everything in life has a flip side however, and the flip side to the Tribal Mind is the Master Mind.

In 1928 Napoleon Hill defined the Master Mind as “a mind that is developed through the harmonious co-operation of two or more people who ally themselves for the purpose for accomplishing any given task.” In other words, there is strength in numbers. A group of people gathered in the spirit of team work toward the achievements of each individual propels each member forward.

As creative people in a largely black and white world, membership in a cooperative can make all the difference in our success. The Master Mind offsets the effects of the negative thinkers in our lives by re-enforcing positive, can-do attitudes. The “team-spirit” creates a foundation for inspiration, accountability and emotional support, assisting and encouraging members to reach for their highest goals and achieve their personal best.

This year, you owe it to yourself to find your group—or find several! Take a class, attend a conference and join like minded friends online. Participation is the key. Watching from the sidelines may be inspiring but full benefits are realized only when you actively participate; participation tells your mind that you are serious in the pursuit of your goal.

For me, Women On Writing is my lifeline. This co-creative group is present each day sharing enthusiasm, stimulating creative vision, sharing experience and helping to keep each other focused. Members can post a question on the discussion boards and receive guidance in a matter of minutes. There are eBooks, contracts and articles free to download or print, and a monthly Premium Green pdf of submission calls, job listings and articles. I feel as if I am in an office full of writers. I open my email and there is a message from a colleague down the hall saying she just landed a great contract or another one with a lead on a new publisher. Each day I work towards my success, I know I am one member of a team—each of us in common pursuit.

by Robyn Chausse

What's Your Experience? Do you have a group that keeps you motivated? What has been the most beneficial experience? Are you a PG Member? Share your enthusiasm here.


Kristi's Book Nook said...

I am still looking for that perfect writing group. But what I have found is a couple of ladies who are driven, motivated and inspired. Together we are the 3 Muskateers, pushing each other to great success.

Robyn Chausse said...

Hi Kristi,
That's great! Are they local to you?
Wishing all three of you much success in 2011.

Kristi's Book Nook said...

Robyn, thansk for the best wishes. These ladies are local and we try to meet for coffee at least 2 timers per month, we email and Facebook too.

Robyn Chausse said...

Having that much contact with your Master Mind group can be wonderfully empowering. The key to any group is how they hold themselves accountable to their goals or what Napoleon Hill termed the Chief Aim.
One year I gathered a group of local Nano participants together. Whenever the eight of us got together, however, the discussion quickly fell into what new movies to see or how difficult it was to find the time to write. They were not motivated and were not focused on the goal.
Has anyone else had this experience--readers?

On Saturday, Anne wrote a piece about goal setting and how important it is to be specific in our goals--how to set a Cheif Aim. To state, "I want to be a writer" or "I want to be published in 2011" is good but not a Cheif Aim. To state, "I will have my professional website up and running by March 15th" or "I will have the rough draft of my new children's book ready by Valentine's Day, the editing finished by Easter and will submit it to on May 1st" --now you're talkin'! Now that your group is tuned to your specific goal their subconcious is on your side. You may find them tripping across links to new children's publishers or agents looking to represent new children's writers. In other words, the group mind begins working on everyone's behalf when the members are focused.

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