Venn diagrams can strike fear into the hearts of those of us who are mathematically-challenged. Those pesky circles–the brainchild of John Venn circa 1880–intersecting here and overlapping there can be intimidating. Wikipedia.com says the Venn diagram “shows all possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets (aggregates of things).”
Again, for the mathematically challenged (like me), the response to the explanation above is a simple, “Huh?”
I have found, however, a way to use the diagram that would make my 10th grade math teacher, Mr. Nicoletti, proud. I think. Anyway, here is my application of a math principle to personal success and well-being.
Think of success and wellbeing as the cross-section–the intersection–of many factors. Some we have a natural inclination or attraction to; others require more effort and concentration on our part. If we spend too much time on one component, while ignoring other pieces of the puzzle, we will not enjoy maximum results. We may have to moderate in one dimension, while picking up the pace in another. When carefully choreographed, this back-and-forth dance will lead us to a sweet spot–a place of rhythm and harmony.
My examples below are in sets of three. They easily can be in sets of four, five, or more. The point is that if we can balance, hone, and focus on each component we put ourselves in a better place to reach our goals.
- People, Place, Purpose. Richard Leider (Repacking Your Bags; The Power of Purpose) reminds us that we will have a better chance of leading a satisfied and contented life if we are with the people we love, in a place we love, pursuing a purpose we love. Think about that. Have you ever worked for an employer where you loved what you were doing (purpose), enjoyed who you worked with (people), but just did not like the location (place)? Or maybe you loved the place and people but the purpose was not a fit for you. The sweet spot: the intersection of all three.
- Talent, Passion, Money. Perhaps you have worked on a project or a job that you had talent to do. You excelled! Perhaps you were even paid well. But you did not have the fire in the belly to do the job. In short, you lacked passion for the task. Jim Collins (Good to Great; Built to Last) challenges us to consider how we can apply our talent(s) to our passion–and get someone to pay us for doing that! The sweet spot: the intersection of all three.
- Ambition, Potential, Initiative. I have met a lot of people with ambition. I have worked with individuals who had potential. But I have found that without initiative, the first two will not amount to much. All three are needed: the desire (ambition), the ability (potential), and the drive (initiative). The sweet spot: the intersection of all three.
- Dreams, Action, Reality. If you follow this blog, you have read my thoughts on these three. Dreams are great; they can provide fuel. But they need legs–they need action–to get us from the dreaming to the realizing. The lack of action will create its own reality–just not the one we hoped for originally! The sweet spot: the intersection of all three.
Video recommendation for the week:
- Exercise, Diet, Rest. These three practices are part of a balanced life. Again, we need moderation, don’t we? If I diligently exercise my body but fail to fuel it with appropriate nutrients, I won’t get the best return on my efforts. If I become obsessed with one component but ignore one or both of the others, the results will be less than fulfilling for me. The sweet spot: the intersection of all three.
- Stop, Keep, Start. I have written and spoken about this triumvirate. I first heard leadership guru John Maxwell speak of these. When examining a process or a relationship, for instance, it is good to identify the things we need to stop doing (those that are sabotaging us), those we need to keep doing (the things that are working for us), and what we need to start doing (new or revised methods). For maximum result, we have to do all three. If we stop doing something that has hindered our progress but fail to implement that which would put us on a more successful path, then our chances for success are minimized. The sweet spot: the intersection of all three.
The above are simple illustrations that success and wellbeing are multi-faceted. I have seen many students put all of their efforts into their math class–but neglect their history assignments. A balanced approach takes practice–but has the benefit of life in the sweet spot.
I would love to hear your examples.
Enjoy your week!
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