I’m currently reading a fascinating book called “Big Potential” by Shawn Achor. Shawn is a leading researcher and educator on happiness. His research led him to write this book on big potential as he recognized one societal issue leading to extreme rates of depression and ultimately oppressing potential happiness.
We are taught from birth up through the formal schooling system that individual excellence and achievement are the top predictors of success. As parents we get excited when are children are the smartest, the fastest, the strongest, the cutest, and the list goes on and on. In every situation mentioned, we are actually comparing our kids with others in order to lift ours up at the expense of others. If you follow the data, and Shawn Achor has, you find that many individual achievers suffer from depression and many ultimately take their own life.
This hard-core drive and belief in individual excellence is pushed based on the concept of “Survival of the Fittest.” Survival of the fittest states that only the best survives. The only way to succeed in the world is to be the best. The problem with striving for greatness is that there is always someone better or ready to take your place on the throne.
As a child, I remember playing a game called king of the hill. A group of us would find a big dirt or gravel hill and fight to get to the top. The person on top was king and he had to fight off every other person trying to take his spot. The feeling of knocking the old king off his throne to take my rightful place was wonderful, until splat, I found myself rolling back down with the others. This may be a fun game for kids, but no way to life a happy life.
Shawn Achor introduces a new concept that seems to be more accurate based on his research. “Achieving our highest potential is not about survival of the fittest; it is, survival of the best fit”
We need others!
Those that can connect with and collaborate with other people is in the best position to contribute effectively to the world around them, and ultimately have personal happiness as well due to these relationships.
Success is based on working best with others.
Remember, social skills are not natural, they are learned and learnable. If you are not a natural, don’t fret, it’s why we teach what we do at Stop Clowning Around and you will find that CPR is just for you.
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