Build the Foundation... 
Sacrificial Love and a Servant's Heart

The classic imagery of agape is Christ going to the cross in order to save mankind. It is that essence of love that allows people to pay the ultimate price to express their love. It is completely selfless and is behind the heart of being a servant. This notion of service is truly the foundation to a growth mindset - or to building that mindset of a champion. Ultimately there are roughly thirteen characteristics of this love that one should focus on building into their very being. Agape becomes part of their defining traits.

Agape is a Love Mindset: Do You Know What That Looks Like?

Creating a love mindset is the very foundation for the mindset of a champion because the traits that define it are essential for success. If you are serious about learning and understanding the nature of success and achievement and fulfillment, you need to understand why a agape or loving mindset is vital.

If we are honest with ourselves, it really should not be surprising that a love mindset would be the foundation upon which our success must be built. After all, even if we have not read about all the pathologies that develop in people who do not feel loved, we instinctively know that one of the most dangerous things to a society is to have a large population of people – especially young adult males – who have spent much of their life feeling unloved. We do though need to delve a bit deeper into this word love, so we can truly understand what we are discussing here in the context of our love mindset.

The English language with all its words sometimes lumps many nuances of words into one word. Love is one example. The ancient Greeks had four words for love: agape, storge, philia, and eros. Each of these words meant something slightly different. Agape was the word Christians began to use to represent God’s sacrificial and unconditional love. This is the kind of love that we see when one person, even a total stranger, sacrifices themselves for another. It is also the type of love behind true charity, which is giving without any expectation of getting anything in return. That is agape love.

Storge refers to the love you would have for your child or spouse. It is also depicted as the type of love or affection you might have for your country, state, community, or even a sports team.

Philia is the affection or bond typically between equals. It is the idea of brotherly love where brother refers more to the idea of brother when used to refer to a teammate, comrade in arms, fraternity brother, or similar connection between people not so much actual genealogical brother.

Eros of course is where the word erotic originates from and refers to sexual love. When talking about love as the foundation for success and achievement are we talking about all of these connotations of love or some of these notions of love? 

What do you think? Does it seem reasonable that all of these connotations for love matter for your success? Should they all be part of a love mindset? Let me ask a different question, can any or all of these connotations for love lead to significant emotional issues? 

Let’s tackle that second question. Agape or sacrificial love can that be a negative? Some people would argue that when someone is constantly putting the love of others before their family that could certainly cause problems or decay of the family pillar. Similarly, if you are putting your love for your brother’s and sisters in the philia sense before maybe your family or spouse or career that you could create problems as well. I think you can also imagine that if you love your business more than some other areas of your life those other areas could suffer as well. Is there any of the four loves though that come with greater potential for self-destruction than eros? Think of all the problems that arise from sexual abuse, rape, promiscuity, and infidelity. Think of the problems within marriages when one partner or the other or both are not having their erotic love needs met.

Okay, if maybe there are problems that can arise from loving “too much” and “inappropriately”, what exactly is it about love that makes it the foundation for success?

The bottom line is mankind needs love, especially unconditional love. We cannot live without it. There are those who would argue otherwise, but I believe the evidence overwhelmingly supports the notion that feeling unloved or not experiencing unconditional love, or even brotherly love, or even sorge, cannot lead to the kind of success and fulfillment I want my clients to attain. If love or better yet, a love mindset, is so important, you should understand what it really is and understand that it is much more than a feeling.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 7, we learn what the characteristics of love (agape) are. According to the Christian tradition and understanding of love, “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” With this list, we find traits that are not only something we can adopt in ourselves, but they are crucial characteristics of people who have a love mindset, have attained the mindset of a champion, and gained the kind of success and achievement I believe people are truly striving for.

If you knew a person who was patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not dishonoring of others, not self-seeking, not easily angered, doesn’t keep record of being wronged, is protecting, trusting, hopeful, and perseverant you would want to be around that person, wouldn’t you. You would want to associate with them, wouldn’t you. The truth is an overwhelming majority of people would, which is why attaining a love mindset is the foundation upon which your success must be built. These characteristics were also evident in the people whom were part of my success model.

Love Mindset: Become a Poster Child for Love

Whether you are a Christian or not, the image to the right is symbolic of sacrificial love - of agape. It is that kind of love - selfless and protective love - that is the poster child for agape. How do you become the poster child for agape? How do you acquire a love mindset? The answer is a study of juxtapositions. It is simple. You practice. The practice is easy. It is hard. Consistently practicing is not easy. Consistently demonstrating agape is not easy. The results are life altering.

It is a never-ending process. When you meet someone who exhibits these characteristics, who has a love mindset, they will be the first to say they wish they were kinder, or more patient, or not so easily angered, which shouldn’t be surprising considering one of the traits they possess is humility.

Indeed, the people who exhibit this love are far from perfect. If you are ever fortunate enough to gain their trust, they will often share some of those moments of human frailty and their closest associates may well too. The key here is a pattern of behavior – their norm. What are the beliefs and values that underlie and drive their attitudes and actions?

Benjamin Franklin wrote in his autobiography his proven method – an ancient method – for building virtue into your personality. He chose 13 virtues he wanted to develop and made a simple chart. He started with the first on his list and would focus on doing that virtue that day. He would leave the box empty for each day he did that specific virtue. He would then add the next virtue the next week. At the end of 13 weeks he would have finished all 13 virtues and he would then start another 13-week cycle. At the end of the year he would have done that four times. This is a proven method for building these virtues into your life. Doing that for a year isn’t easy, is it? Following through is priceless. 

Similarly, in Og Mandino’s classic The Greatest Salesman in the World, the main character is given scrolls that contain the secrets to success. There are ten scrolls and each is to be read for thirty days in a prescribed manner. He is to read the first scroll when he first arises in the morning, again at the mid-day meal, and finally just before retiring. In the evening, he is to read the scroll aloud. He is to do this for each scroll. The second scroll is about love. That scroll does not specifically target these traits.

You most certainly can create your own. The vast majority of you will not have the self-discipline to follow through with the reading of one scroll never mind 10, which is why I have created a training program that is spread out over many weeks. You simply need to follow through and do the training to train a mindset of a champion or growth mindset. You can do it from this information alone, but most of you won’t.

Here is the example of the scroll I created (Love Scroll). Feel free to use this one or create one of your own, which makes it a little more personal. You may not however sell this or reproduce it for anything but your own personal use. Your task would be to carry this with you every day. Read it in the prescribed manner – silently first thing in the morning, silently at mid-day, out loud before retiring for the evening. You can do that for 13 weeks or for a year. Doing it for a year will obviously engrain it even deeper in to your being.

If you do it for a year I would suggest the following system for reading – every day for 4 weeks. Skip 1 week. Read it again every day for 8 weeks. Skip 1 week. Read it again every day for 6 weeks. Skip 1 week. Read it again every day for 5 weeks. Skip 1 week. Read it every day for 4 weeks. Skip 1 week. Read it every day for 6 weeks. Skip 1 week. Read it every day for 4 weeks. Skip 1 week. Read it again every day for 8 weeks. That amounts to four 13-weeks cycles which coupled with targeting each love trait every day for 1 week and tracking it using Ben Franklin’s method will so engrain these qualities of agape into your attitude and actions they will be common adjectives used by others to describe you. You will have a love mindset and it will be your greatest asset.

Agape: Create It by Applying HEAT

As with all components of training a mindset, applying HEAT to build agape and make it part of your very being is the solution. With the essential habits created early in the program, you then use those habits to build more habits. In this case you build the habit within your daily ritual of focusing on the character traits of love you want to adopt. You build your big WHY and each day you do a simple act that is character trait you are adopting. You celebrate that little success using the positive emotions associated with a celebration, anchoring that into your mind-body. Repeating that daily over time makes the character trait part of you. You have trained the habit, emotion, and attitude. That character trait becomes who you are. 

You never stop training your mindset. The storms of life are constantly beating against this mindset of a champion arch you are building and you need to maintain it. You do that with your rituals your habits. You do that with the positive emotions you have trained. You do that by constantly working on the beliefs and values and thinking patterns that make up your attitude. Once you build the mindset of a champion arch maintaining it is much easier.

 Agape: Do You Have Tool Box of Tools for Training a Love Mindset?

Two final comments before moving to the next section. There are more things you can do to fully adopt an agape mindset. There are tools such as Time-Line Therapy TechniquesTM, swish patterns, anchoring techniques, submodality reframes, verbal reframes, among others that will allow you to remove limiting decisions, change beliefs, release negative emotions, manage your emotions, and in general solidify the character traits that make up this agape mindset – the very foundation of the mindset of a champion.

You can find videos and other information on how to build a growth mindset on this website which will guide you in using these tools to help you manage emotions and change behavior. They tend to be more effective if a trained professional is guiding you through the process for a specific outcome and they are most effective when done in person.

I am trained and certified in the use of these techniques and the videos will help guide the process, but I am not there in person to guide the process where I can see different behavioral cues and ask questions to get better results. What I have provided in this part will be all the majority of you would need if you would simply follow through consistently for a minimum of thirteen weeks.

The challenge of changing your mindset on your own is you are working on the level of the problem. If you desire to change your mindset or improve your mindset, you can be sure you have decided your mindset is too often interfering with your success in any one of the areas of your life you are concerned with. Overcoming that often requires an external source to provide structure, motivation, and accountability. Any good training will offer that next level of support. To train a mindset whether it is a love mindset or any other, takes personal responsibility, structure and discipline, applying HEAT, use of synergy, and a mentor or coach.

The second point I wanted to make is there are those out there who honestly believe, teach, and coach others in a manner and a philosophy that would scoff at this notion of love being the foundation of success. In this distorted view of reality, love is weak. Love is soft. Love gives in. If you stop and think, and I mean really think, you will realize a love mindset is courageous, is power, is strength.

Love is the warrior who dives on a grenade to save his brothers in arm. Love is the man who sacrifices his life by diving into a frozen river to save the lives of several perfect strangers. Love is the actions of those men and women on flight 93 on September 11, 2001 who acted to save lives of thousands of others. Love is the parent who must discipline an unruly child. Love is Martin Luther King standing for what was right in the face of deep and entrenched hatred. Love is Jackie Robinson being slow to anger in the face of incredible torment. These are not weak acts. They are not soft acts. They are not examples of quitting. They are examples of patience, kindness, hope, perseverance, and all those other characteristics of love. People are not perfect. They have their faults. We are not always loving or always lovable, but love is not weak and when you are loving you are strong, you are courageous, you are a leader, you are a champion of life.

To conclude, western tradition is deeply influenced and really stands on the philosophical and theological traditions of Christianity and Judaism. Whether you are a follower of these religions or not, they have influenced our laws and morality deeply. Love is at the center of those traditions.  The life of Jesus Christ epitomizes agape love by willingly dying a most humbling, painful, and excruciating – a word derived from crucifying – death to save mankind. Jesus said that all the laws and the profits hung on two laws: love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul, and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. The first five of the 10 commandments were centered around loving God – yes, even honoring your mother and father – while the second five were about loving your neighbor.

Whether you believe in God, whether you believe Jesus was who he claimed to be, or you don’t, those beliefs are deeply rooted in western tradition and philosophy and the interesting thing is no matter whether someone was raised in eastern traditions or western traditions those who have attained the highest levels of success, fulfillment, and adoration exhibit one foundational principle – agape is part of their very being. You can look at Martin Luther King or Ghandi and both are highly revered, if not flawed men, who achieved great successes and the foundation their successes rested on was love. They were not alone. While each of those men exhibited deep love for others, they each had different world views. They had different faiths. We will begin looking at the pillars that hold up our structure by look at the first pillar: faith.

Parents of Teens do your entire family an enormous favor. Go to this page and learn about our entire curriculum on training a mindset of a champion. Consider it carefully. Call us. Talk to us. We even have generous benefactors willing to provide scholarships for those who need it. I only take a select few each month. I believe you are worthy of being considered, do you? Check this page out and seriously consider the incredible benefits.

Let me leave you with this inspiring video.

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