Monday, 4 May 2015

Connect Four.

A game I have enjoyed for many years was first published by Milton Bradley in 1974: Connect Four. It did what it said on the tin - your mission, should you have decided to accept it, was to connect four peices. The game still brings me pleasure.

What a great lesson for life! The very architecture of your neural net is all about connections. So too, when seeking to live and enjoy a life to the full on this pearl of a Planet. It seems success comes down to the quantity and quality of our connections.

Yesterday, I had one of those enchanting moments one can have in the presence of an enthusiast. John is a model railway enthusiast specialising in the development of the Meccano-Hornby story. With passion, he showed me a very modest truck from his layout. The joy of this particular truck was hidden underneath. John revealed the secret with obvious relish. This truck had one kind of connection at one end, and another at the other! Why was this significant? Well with one such truck, John could harness the power of two chapters in model railway history. One connection linked to the earlier Hornby rolling stock, the other to the later Triang version. With one simple innovation, past and present were connected.

This got me thinking about the importance of being a Connector. If part of success in life is about making the right connections, surely one of the greatest joys is connecting not just with others but on behalf of others. I could happily say, this is my chief joy at this time in my life. I now know a lot of people - I've been on Planet long enough to build a phenomenal network. But this network is not for me, it's for others, it's for you. Nowadays, when I meet someone new, my neural net is naturally making connections with other people in my neural database without having to think about it. I live to connect!

Now here's the important part. If this connecting is for mere financial profit, your connections will rightfully see through this and reject your best efforts. We are not islands. We need each other. And it would be really nice to connect with one another without having to use a Toll-Bridge, wouldn't it? In this Connection Economy, not everything has to be about profit - there are other currencies worth investing in.

So, my encouragement to you today is to "Connect Four" - and connect for no profit or self-interest. Find four people today whose life could be enhanced if they connected with someone you know, and be that bridge-builder for them. Connect for the simple pleasure of connecting!

If the Universe works, your good work will come back to you a hundred-fold, but never, ever engage in this good work with any thought of return. It's simply good for you to connect others. In fact, it's good for all of us.

Now for the serious thought. In some senses the chemistry of depression is also about connections. Patterns of thought in our minds and patterns of chemicals in our brains and bodies make connections that produce results. We often seek to influence these connections with psychology and pharmacology. My suggestion today is that we play a deliberate, active role in setting up some new connections that will be of benefit to others. I believe that, in this process, we will find it good medicine for ourselves. That's not why we'll do it, but I believe it will the result. Let's try and see, shall we?

Lex
A Moodscope member.