I've often wondered how it is possible for anyone to be lonely in a world with over six billion people. Yet loneliness is a major cause of depression and stress in our modern society.

Similarly, we could question how networkers can feel like they've run out of prospects in a world with six billion people, of whom only a fraction are already involved in network marketing.

We are all surrounded by the same prospects, every day, wherever we go. Why do some of us attract people while others, well, sort of repel people?

I recently listened to an interview with my friend, Dr. Marcy Axness, for a program called "The Energy and Essence of Change." Marcy is an early human development specialist and the host asked her, "How do we raise someone who can change the world?"

Marcy pointed out that at a biological level, evolution has provided us with different developmental mechanisms, which can roughly be divided into two functional categories: growth and protection.

In every moment, each cell and living organism is choosing between these two opposing modes of being, both essential to the maintenance of life. The catch is that both mechanisms cannot operate optimally at the same time. Humans unavoidably restrict their growth behaviors when they shift into protection mode. If you're running from a lion, it's not a good idea to expend energy on growth. In order to survive, you'd want to summon all your energy for your fight-or-flight response.

"Our mind is the interface between the world and our biology," says Marcy. At every level and stage of our development, we are asking ourselves this fundamental question: Are conditions safe and secure so I can grow into my fullest potential, or are conditions threatening, dangerous and insecure so that I must protect and limit my potential and instead extend my energy to defend myself?

We are either learning, embracing the new, opening and deepening our awareness; or we are resisting our expansion, defending the status quo and closing down into our comfort zone.

Marcy says our most important function as parents, teachers or leaders of any type, is to stay in growth mode ourselves and nurture others to do so as well. This nurturing happens through the quality of our being, our inner trust and the example we put forward. Marcy encourages parents to ask, "Am I worthy of my children's unquestioning imitation?"

Like children, adults listen to our words but feed on our consciousness-our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. As events of the day trigger our survival impulses and "every-man-for-himself" thinking, it takes discipline to stay aware and choose where we want to be on the growth-protection continuum.

In order to attract others into your business and your life, actively seek joyful, loving and fulfilling experiences that stimulate growth and help you stay connected to your highest vision for yourself, your organization and our world.

DR. JOSEPHINE GROSS is Cofounder and Editor in Chief of Networking Times.