You are operating at Stage Seven—the highest stage to aspire to in the Stage Climbing model—in any area of your life when you are choosing to be benevolent and are truly motivated by the satisfaction you feel by making a contribution to the world outside of yourself. This can be one person, a group, society itself or anything in between. The Stage Seven club is always open to you. As you operate in the Seven zone, you will quickly discover that when the forces of gratitude and passion work together, practically anything is possible.
No matter what else is going on in your life, this holiday season may be the perfect time to experience the intrinsic rewards of this highest target stage.
Assuming Stage Seven intentions were what motivated you, here are some examples of ways you can use (or perhaps have used) your Stage Seven hooks to impact the world that’s bigger than you and leave it a better place:
- Whenever you put the more pressing needs of your children, aging parents, or other family members or friends above your own, such as by caring for those in your life who may be sick or need some help financially―out of desire to help, of course, rather than obligation.
- Anytime you give your time or money to a charitable endeavor without regard to what comes back to you in the way of praise, recognition, or any other benefits―tangible or intangible.
- Putting your reputation on the line or postponing a goal of you own for another person, a mission or a cause greater than yourself―when it is unlikely that you will experience any direct benefits.
- Any act of random kindness that is unlikely to result in so much as a “thank you” from whoever benefits.
- Serving in the military or joining and working with a group that stands up for underdogs or the underprivileged as a means of making a difference.
- Reporting a crime or blogging about an injustice you are aware of.
- Being a whistleblower with potential consequences to yourself, in order to prevent a future injustice.
Think of some how you can enhance your life simply by focusing on new ways to contribute to the world beyond yourself. Most Sevens can attest to the paradox of happiness: By focusing on your own, you rarely achieve it in a lasting way; but by helping someone else— perhaps many others to find it, happiness and fulfillment come back to you almost effortlessly. Feel free to let us know about your experience with this paradox