As we’ve often said, purpose thrives in community and dies in isolation. Today’s guest, Rusty George, agrees. In fact, he published a book entitled Better Together where he talks about the power of community. Rusty is a pastor, speaker, and leader, and in today’s episode, Rusty and Kevin talk about what community really means when you’re living a purpose-filled life.
- We are more connected than ever before, so why does it feel like we’re more alone than ever? In the UK, they’ve added an empty chair and called it the Minister of Loneliness because of the epidemic they perceive in their country. Rusty shares a story about wanting one thing but getting another, like how social media is supposed to be social – do you resonate with his message? It’s not about how many online friends you have; it’s about how many people really know YOU.
- Rusty was inspired to write Better Together after a very lonely period in his life where he didn’t interact outside of his family and work. He spent a lot of time doing solo activities, and it made him realize how empty it made him feel. What Rusty realized is that the only thing he hadn’t tried was community, a group of like-minded people he could talk to and relate with. He decided that the way to fix me is with
- How do you define your reality? Do you get frustrated and tired of all the people around you and finally retreat to the safety of the people closest to you then tell yourself the story that ‘this is enough?’ There’s a long-term problem associated with that, and it can BREAK the people closest to you. It’s a dangerous reality that doesn’t help you at all.
- Have you spent a lot of time in self-discovery? You’re probably putting your thumb on the scales as you weigh your strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, there are some things that you can ONLY discover by being with others. Rusty talks about some of his own issues, like considering himself a strong leader when he’s actually a control freak.
- As leaders, we often think that we need to be perfect and to not show our vulnerability. But the opposite is true. Rusty agrees that the incomplete leader is one we should praise and strive to be, because we’ll never truly be complete or perfect. To try to be otherwise will only isolate us more.
- There’s a trend online to be hyper-vulnerable, but it’s not the same. It does very little for your personal growth to be vulnerable with people who don’t know you. In fact, those who share on social media rarely share the whole story of why they feel the way they do, so they really aren’t connecting and letting other people know who they are. Rusty believes that you don’t have to be vulnerable to all, but you have to be vulnerable to some.
- One important thing to point out is that vulnerability doesn’t go one way. It’s just as important to find someone who you can be vulnerable with as it is to be engaged as they share themselves with you. Realize that you won’t always understand exactly what someone else is going through, but simply being there for them is enough. That’s where connection begins.
- One thing we’re all guilty of from time to time is going into things with certain expectations, and according to Rusty, expectations are pre-arranged resentments. You’re setting yourself up, in many cases, for disappointment, and that leads to the belief that others have somehow failed you. It’s no way to live, and you need to hear what Rusty has to say.
- In a community, listening is essential. The best way to do that is to try to ask 3 questions. Rather than formulating your witty reply, discover more about the person you’re with. Not only will it impress the person you’re with; it will help you get to know who THEY are rather than steamrolling them with who YOU are. It’s one of the most generous things you can do.
- Have you noticed how the act of ‘consumerism’ has invaded our social circles? Certainly, you’ve talked with someone who was only interested in what you could do for them, but have you noticed it in yourself? Consumerism is the anathema of community; you can never connect on a deep level if you’re only in it for yourself.
An Extraordinary Experiment
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Higher Purpose Podcast. Remember, if you ever think that your work could be less ordinary, there’s not much between you and something extraordinary. Just 13 weeks, and a bold experiment. Find out more about the Extraordinary Experiment here!
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