We’ve all heard the term, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Didn’t God say that to the first humans in the beginning?
Jeannette and I (Dr. Deb) agree that multiplication can take place in many forms. Neither of us have had children. Yet we have both deliberately spent our lives investing in others and multiplying ourselves.
Here is the 2nd in a series of life and growth principles by Jeannette Slater.
When we look at nature, we can quickly identify the principle of multiplication at work. Nature in all forms continues to reproduce and most of the time it is in multiples and many times it is in abundance. Rabbits are infamous for their ability to multiply. And consider plants. They scatter their seeds abroad in abundance with the goal of multiplying themselves. They know that not all their ‘offspring’ will survive, so ensure survival and growth through multiplication.
Even the largest of organisms, whether plant or animal, do not grow endlessly. Rather they replicate themselves for life to continue. The California redwoods are some of the largest plants; yet they too reproduce.
How does that translate to our lives?
In some ways it’s obvious. If we spend all our time on one effort or a small circle of influence, we will likely fail to thrive. And we are certainly limiting the investment we COULD be making in others. Rather, we must cultivate multiple relationships in order to reap the fruit down the road.
Utilizing the principle of multiplication means that we have to think differently. Instead of thinking about how we can add another leader or another client, we need to think strategically about how to invest our energy so that the result is multiplication rather than addition. If we simply add and replace what is lost, we won’t experience optimum health and growth for our lives or others’.
One of the synonyms used for multiplication is reproducibility. Are you reproducing yourself? Are you taking your life lesson and strengths and investing them in others?
Another aspect of reproducibility is considering whether our action and ways of leading are setting an example that is reproducible. We all want to do our best but we may unwittingly be doing such as stellar job that others feel like they could never do what we do. By making ourselves the ‘star’ we may hinder reproducibility in others. How might you adjust your actions so that others can follow in your footsteps as they are starting the journey?
As you make decisions, here are some multiplication questions you may want to incorporate into the process:
- What opportunities might emerge if we multiplied our influence?
- In which dimensions of our lives and work are we adding rather than multiplying?
- How am I multiplying my efforts by passing on my skills to others?
- What aspects of my life are worthy of reproduction or multiplication?
- Who are people I could strategically invest in?
Ask multiplication questions. The principle of multiplication challenges us to move toward greater potential in ourselves and others.
Royalty-free image by Szorstki in Poland; retrieved from http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1086368