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The Powers of Two

May 23, 2015 by  
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So how do you make your world bigger and really live ‘large’? Probably the very biggest key to living large is through other people. Unfortunately there is a big misconception when it comes to seeing other people that seem to be living very large and have achieved super success. When we see someone who has come up with a great new invention, a super creative piece of artwork or, for that matter, a new and very successful business, most people think it came from a single person’s mind who has been working alone and has had a mental breakthrough. I certainly used to believe and think that, but if you and I take a closer look, we’ll see that it just ain’t so.

Recently I heard Joshua Shenk on NPR radio talking about some very famous people and world changing technological breakthroughs along with great works of art all of which came not from one brilliant person working alone but from 2 or more people joining their brains and forces to come up with heretofore unheard of successes. Shenk has written a book called Powers of Two and what a great book it is! He talks about great people like Paul McCartney, Steve Jobs, George Lucas and Vincent Van Gogh along with a number of others. It turns out that the key to their super success was hooking up with another person and the power of what those 2 brains could come up with equaled genius and huge breakthroughs.

Those breakthroughs Joshua talks about may never have happened if those people had not met the right person at the right time. For Paul McCartney the breakthrough came when he met and worked with John Lennon which later spawned the Beatles. For Steve Jobs it was hooking up with Steve Wozniak when one was a teenager and the other was only 20 years old. And for filmmaker George Lucas, it was his wife Marcia Lucas who was his secret weapon. Lastly, there’s a very good chance that you and I would probably never have known the name Vincent Van Gogh if it were not for a guy named Theo, Vincent’s brother.

The author goes on to make an undeniable case that most great and important breakthroughs that we think came from one genius working alone came from the ‘Powers of Two’. Later Joshua Shenk talks about how critical it is for you and I to go out and find our “tribe” and to hook up with others that we truly connect with. Sometimes it’s people like ourselves and sometimes people that are very different from us but they hit certain of our hot buttons that lift us to a much higher level and push us to fulfill our great potential. Next week I’ll talk about ways to find our “tribe”, those people that we really connect with and where to go to hook up with those than can help us create and benefit from the ‘Powers of Two’.

 

The Long Arm of Influence

November 4, 2011 by  
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This past week, a very influential woman died. She was influential not because she had a direct impact on your life or mine, but because she shaped the life of someone who does have a direct impact on people all over the world–that was Hilary Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham.

It’s truly amazing, when you think that the actions of one person can have affected the entire globe. I am certain Secretary Clinton would not be where she is today if her mother had not been the kind of person she was. Hilary Clinton has said that her mother had taught her to stand up for herself and to stand up for those who needed help. Instilling those values in her daughter is a huge reason why we have this very strong and determined US Secretary of State right now. I doubt Dorothy Rodham thought to herself, as she was raising her kids, “I better make sure they know how to stand up for themselves because some day they may have to do it in front of the whole world.” But the fact that she did has had an effect on our world’s history.

I just wanted you think about that. You never know what kind of effect you are going to have. You affect your kids, colleagues, friends and even strangers you run into and you have no idea how huge or small your influence will be. So consider that what you do, how you impact the people around you, and what you teach those that look up to you may very well have long reaching consequences. Knowing that, don’t you think we all should really concentrate on having a positive, uplifting and encouraging demeanor and when we pass on any bits of wisdom, be sure that we are more likely to push people to do right by those they know and for themselves?

I can think of several people I have meet through the years that affected me greatly including Curtis Carlson and Paul Meyer who I write about in my book, “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living”. My books, this blog, and all the little projects I have going on that aim to help others are a result of the influence of great individuals like these. If you haven’t read about them yet, get the book here and be influenced then go out and influence other is a huge, positive way.