“The more you help people find their light, the brighter you both will shine”.

In Big Potential, Shawn Achor makes the argument, through research combining neuroscience and data, that our fullest potential can be reached through what we do together collectively and collaboratively. We often think of reaching your potential as an individual pursuit- what can you do on your own to be your most creative, powerful, and best self. In his book, Achor proves that your potential, a combination of success, well-being and performance, is way bigger than you, and the BIG potential is about working to become better together.

Achor outlines the path to big potential through five actionable steps known as SEEDS.

1. Surround yourself with positive influencers of all types including pillars (the ones who are always there for you); bridges (those connecting you to others); and extenders (who push you out of your comfort zone).

2. Expand your power by helping others lead from every seat. It doesn’t matter what position they hold.

3. Enhance your resources by being a prism of praise. Be generous and consistent with praise. Praise should be specific and authentic. Stop comparative praise by pushing one down to lift another up.

4. Defend the system you build against negative attacks. The more you surround yourself with positive voices, the easier positive change will be to sustain and even amplify.

5. Sustain it all by fueling the virtuous cycle of cascading successes that amplify our own.

Shawn shows that almost every attribute of our potential – from intelligence to creativity to leadership to engagement is interconnected with other people. “We need to stop trying to be faster alone and start working to be stronger together.”

My key takeaways from this inspiring and insightful book:

* A single positive person could end up creating a ripple effect of positivity that infects those around them.

  • We must develop an elevated pitch to quickly convince others to be positive forces for change.

 I fundamentally believe that, in order to develop a sustainable and meaningful engagement   strategy,  you need to know and embrace your strengths and values.

  • We need our own personal path to meaning. Think about your answers to these questions:

-Are you helping to improve people’s lives with your work?
-Are you able to connect with people on a deeper level?

-Do you have an opportunity to brighten someones’ day because of your interactions?

-Are you helping to improve the world, even in a small way?

and then

-How do I expand my influence in an interconnected world?

-How am I impacting others with my life and my energy?

-How do I raise my potential by making others better?

Actor says, ”The conclusion of a decade of my work is clear. You can be a superstar; you just can’t be one alone. What you need is a star system: a constellation of positive, authentic influencers who support each other, reinforce each other and make each other better.”


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