Do you ever feel weighed down in your pursuit of a good life? From childhood, our culture trains us to see a world of scarce opportunities in which we must be the first, fastest, and best. We are also trained from childhood to value our individual accomplishments. Children triumphantly declare, “I did it all by myself.” This leaves us working to be the “best” on our own, which leaves many of us stressed, lonely, and depressed. In his book Big Potential, Shawn Achor summarizes the experience of Harvard students he studied: “By the time students finish school, they are frazzled, fragile, and lonely, only to find that the success and happiness they had been promised did not lie at the end of that rainbow.”
Against our current culture’s value for individualism, Achor shares remarkable research showing that strong individual capacity doesn’t create the greatest impact, success, health, or happiness. The greatest impact, success, health, and happiness belongs to those who are properly connected as “stars in constellations” rather than individual “superstars.” “The people who rise to the top are not those who do everything all by themselves, but, rather, those who can ask others for help and rally others to grow,” Achor says.
Achor defines small potential as “the limited success you can achieve alone,” and he defines big potential as “the success you can achieve only in a Virtuous Cycle with others.” He goes on to say, “[W]hen we help others become better, we can actually increase the available opportunities, instead of vying for them…. [O]nce we learn to coordinate and collaborate with those around us, we all begin to shine brighter, both individually and as an ecosystem.” If you’d like to learn how to unlock the massive potential in yourself and the community around you, Achor offers five key ways for creating and sustaining those virtuous cycles that help everyone in them achieve exponentially more. I highly recommend you read his book to learn more!
Thank you for being a part of our community and helping our team to achieve more than we could achieve alone. We are grateful, and we are here to help you as well in living your best life. Blessings until next time. -Caleb