Interviewing over 3,000 network marketing professionals over the past 15 years has taught us this important lesson: Every success story is a love story.

Leaders agree, to make it big in this business you need to:

Some days this can be a tall order… How about when you’re just starting out and might be struggling? When faced with challenges, rejection, and discouragement? Or when your team grows so fast that “time freedom” seems illusive?

In this issue, we asked leaders, “How do you find joy at each stage of the game? What are some of your coping mechanisms or daily habits that keep you in good spirits throughout the ups and downs of building your business?

In our lead interview, Dr. John C. Maxwell outlines the 15 Laws of Growth for Network Marketers, giving you a framework and action plan to continuously stay in “growth mode.”

So what does “loving what you do” have to do with growth?

There is a simple principle of evolutionary biology that clarifies the link between growth and the expansive emotions of love, compassion, and joy. It turns out evolution has provided us with different developmental mechanisms, which can roughly be divided into two 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 want to summon all your energy for your fight-or-flight response.

Our mind is the interface between the world and our biology. At every level and stage of our development, we are answering this fundamental question: “Are conditions safe and secure so that I can relax, open up (to love), and grow into my fullest potential; or are conditions threatening and insecure so that I must protect and limit my potential (in fear), and instead extend my energy to defend myself?”

At all times, 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.

It takes discipline to stay aware and choose where we want to be on the growth-protection continuum, especially when outside events trigger our survival thinking and “fight or flight” response.

When going about your business, actively seek joyful, loving, and fulfilling experiences that stimulate growth and help you stay connected to your highest vision for yourself and your team.

From all of us here at Networking Times: May 2017 be your best year yet!

DR. JOSEPHINE GROSS is cofounder and editor in chief of Networking Times.