Homework with Norman

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What Norman Wrote | Resulting Video Letter | TOC

The Originally Written Text

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How to Make a Deliberate Family

A Step-by-Step for Hailey Cote


If you want to make a consequential, deliberate family, you have to find and surround yourself with people that share your ideals. Another way to word this idea is [to] surround yourself with people who celebrate you. People who celebrate you are the ones that are impressed by your ideas. These are the people you find when you are working in on or more of the departments in your business of the self.

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This Thumoslang concept of the business of the self was conceptualized only three years ago, but the practice of celebrating someone and supporting them is older than history itself. If we are to create a deliberate family, surround ourselves by people who truly love us, we have to work on what we truly love. We can neither be loved by nor love someone if we do not know what it is that propel them or ourselves through life. Find out what someone loves to do and if it’s the same as what you want to do, figure out how to do it together. [View source image 3 of 7] Creating a project is an excellent way to work on the same ideals.

If you want a family that spends quality time together, ask those who could be a part of your deliberate family about how they like to spend their free time. I personally like to ask what the other person likes to do rather than tell them what I like to do because of two reasons. First, I know the things I like to do already. Second, I am including them in conversation and that’s an invitation for that person to express who they are. [View source image 4 of 7] Getting someone to open up is a powerful moment. In the moment, we empower them to create themselves, as opposed to us telling someone our ideals and then we are working on creating them. There is nothing wrong with telling someone how we want things and want to be treated, but it is far more powerful for two people to communicate based on asking rather than telling.

There, several processes occur: respect, reciprocation, and caring. Imagine a world where more people were interested in promoting others and their dreams rather than promoting themselves. That’s some seriously selfless love.

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To create a strong, deliberate family, you need to talk about the other person’s dreams, how they can, with your help, get there and maybe even help them figure out what their dreams are. By working with someone’s “Dreams Department”, you are creating a mission for yourself that connects to the core of who they are. Making this a commitment is something that needs practice, let alone the will to try even once.

The whole point of creating a deliberate family is to work on shared ideals, so if you find yourself helping someone with a dream that does not parallel yours, down the road you may find yourself tired of helping them.

Let me tell you from firsthand experience that this can be depressing and outright angering. So remember to keep your dreams and ideals in mind as you explore what others’ ideals are.

If you’re interested in this person who celebrates you and wants to be part of your life, asking straight forward questions about what it is that they like about you might be the best way. Some of the things they like about you, they might like about themselves, better yet some of the things they like about you they might want to also be like. There’s a large and beautiful spectrum of reasons why someone likes and celebrate you. It’s up to you to find out why and in turn, work on those feelings together. Those feelings will be the ones that last a lifetime, the feelings that will always be worth working on and without question make you feel whole as the relation grows.

A deliberate family needs to have this growth in order to continue. Without working on the same parts of ourselves that we see in others and others see in us, we would be working on different ideals and there is no guarantee someone else will want to work on a part of us that doesn’t also work on them, unless nurturing someone else’s different ideals brings them to a new level of their life.

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By working on the same ideals, we are guaranteeing to grow together, but when we work on ideals that are different then we are taking a step towards not living the same dream. Helping someone move towards a goal that we don’t share certainly empowers them, but this is a trickier, more difficult path to take. Unlike when we work towards the same goals when we share a process, we are helping to create a process that doesn’t affect us.

Insuring success for someone else’s path is never a given promise, but the reward of helping them reach their milestone, one unattached from yours can elevate your relation to a relationship. There would be more than one relation; the first being what the two of you worked on and went through together and the second, a relation where one of your completed the mission of getting the other to their goal.

There are many steps between mastering the first scenario and the second. Starting with growing together is what I recommend. Practice the skills of understanding reciprocating aka. Replying and disclosing.

You need to figure out what it is someone is telling you when you ask them a question. Be prepared to process and digest their information aka. Disclosure. That way, once you have taken in what they said you can then reciprocate using the information they gave you mixed with your own experience. By taking your time to process their words you are showing an interest and a care about what makes them, them. This is your chance to conclude if you want to continue working on this ideal or if you think continuing this conversation will eventually be a drain on your character. It’s a tough call to make, but if you want to truly love someone you need to also take your own time and energy into consideration.

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If you want to have your time and energy considered, you need to be careful with how far you try in helping a possible deliberate family member’s ideals. Teach yourself when to say no as well as when to say yes. In doing so you are following your own ideals and that, believe it or not, is far more important than helping someone with theirs.

You must remember that most people are “Yes” people and are “talkers”, not because they want to abuse you or overuse you, but because they need so much help that when someone comes along who finally wants to work on the things they care about, they will want all your time in achieving their goals. Set yourself limits; that’s something “default families” exploit. Our default families are created by the people we are born with, whether these people are blood relation, adopted, married-in, or otherwise connected.

We can feel forced to make these people happy. That is not what a deliberate family is about. A deliberate family should put in equal amounts of effort in each other’s departments in their business of the self. This last statement needs to be encouraged by what I’m about the say. Surround yourself with people that celebrate you.

A deliberate family works on the success that can come to a family member’s life, even if the ideal isn’t the same as theirs. An undying devotion to promoting a better life, a better story for your loved ones is what make you family, because there is deliberation towards creating the best version of you.

How’s that for a powerful family?

Norman D. Baker


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