In a book I wrote called The Ten Commitments I focused on the great visionary architect and scientist Buckminster Fuller. He defined synergy as "the behavior of whole systems, unpredicted by knowledge of the component parts."
Fuller uses the example of two metals combining to be stronger than the sum total of each metal. Why are they stronger? Because of the interaction of their molecules when they are put together.
Buckminster Fuller proved in his work that most people do not know it is possible to get more out of a system than you put into it. To get more than you pay for.
At first, when I was reading about Fuller's life I thought, "But that's architecture and design theory….does it really apply to a human life? Surely the same laws don't apply. This is flesh and blood and emotions, not metal."
But, that's the secret beauty of Buckminster Fuller's life. He applied these principles to his own life, too. And what a gift to us that he did. Because Fuller's life was not easy. Not until he applied the synergy.
In 1922, Buckminster Fuller's first child died in his arms of pneumonia just a month before her fourth birthday, after having survived both infantile paralysis and spinal meningitis. Fuller felt he was personally to blame for her death, which he thought could have been prevented if he had provided adequate housing and a properly designed environment. Imagine the pain of thinking that.
Then, in 1927, he lost a building company, which he had founded with his father-in-law, to bankruptcy. Couple that with personal bankruptcy the same year, and then add the birth of a new daughter. The pressure was unbearable. He stood on the edge of Lake Michigan and contemplated suicide.
The birth of his new daughter had pushed him to the edge of the water. He had to make a decision. It had to either be suicide or complete personal reinvention. There was no middle ground for him. His old chaotic way of life would only endanger his new child.
"I had really been through a great deal," said Fuller. "But I had gone into Harvard with high honors in physics. I had very rich boyhood experience with boats. In the Navy, I had looked into electronics, the chemistries and navigation. I had papers to command unlimited tonnage on the ocean. I could fly. But I had kept pushing things, trying them out. And it always seemed to come to a dead end. I decided I'd better call myself to account, with this new child to care for. Or get myself out of the way, because I was a mess."
"At the age of 32 I decided to reorganize my effectiveness to recapture the capabilities we were born with," he said. "This is really where I started. I was not called an architect. I was not called anything. I was simply faced with the problem of organizing myself and really starting to use me. I had to educate myself in a great many ways to pursue such a course. But I found it's actually possible for an individual to make first moves, and that these will incite various others."
Fuller's enormous success thereafter was based on his many "first moves." He found that when he created a plan, and then made a series of first moves, he was creating and producing his life with action. Most people wait for the first moves to happen to them. They let the world around them make the first moves and then they respond, living a life of second moves, all in response to others. They never realize the mind shift that is available to them.
Fuller also saw that the breakthrough would be to make a commitment to "reorganize" himself, all those individual parts of himself that had not yet been working in synergy, but rather pulling in all different directions. It took working in synergy, with all of his commitments firing at once, to recapture the capabilities he was born with.
Fuller wasn't the first person to become enlightened to the possibility of one's work, when done right, being a perfect model for a whole life done right. Ludwig van Beethoven once said, "He who understands my music will not be tormented by the ordinary difficulties of life."
When chaos escapes into a higher order there is synergy. This not only happens in science and physics, it happens in our own chaotic lives. It can happen in our own minds when we shift from passivity to a first move. That shift is everything.
* * * * * * *
Alastair Campbell has written a book called THE MARKETING LAUNCHPAD (www.idealmarketingcompany.com) to guide people through the process of marketing their business.
Most people I coach in small businesses believe they don't know "how to" do certain important things like marketing and selling. But the "how to" is never what's missing. What's really missing is the "want to".....the deep, single-minded desire to be a dramatic success.
Once you get that "want to" in place, and it's in you, a place you can now "come from" then the "how to" begins to show up everywhere...like this book by Alastair.
For a small business, the right marketing can launch you. But it has to be right. It has to connect with your prospective customers and clients, and connect in ways that actually begin the sales process.
Becoming passionate and knowledgeable about strong and effective marketing is the first (and most necessary) step to business success. We live in a weakened age....people are looking for handouts, bail-outs, government assistance, and all kinds of "help." However, true and rapid success comes from
a mindset of self help, a mindset of self-reliance and and a mindset of business power.
Successful businesses are created.
They don't just "happen" to people who catch a lucky break with a hot product or service. Your marketing is the most important part of that creation because it is the part that reaches out to your customer, takes him by the hand, and walks him through your doors.
Make it something you know and care about. Start with this book.
* * * * * * *
It's not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights -- the "right" to education, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery -- hay and a barn for human cattle. There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.”
* * * * * *
"Chandler's ten-part success course,Mindshift, is a habit-breaking, overhauling, corner-turning, life-changing gift to yourself, your better self. It is based on a simple premise: when your mind is open it will shift, from problems to opportunities, from How do I get there? to When do I start? In the company of this wise, witty, remarkable man, you will nod your way up the ladder of consciousness, stepping over fear and worry all the way up to the creative force of the god within. Your old story, the person that's too tired, too old, too busy, too poor, too burdened with circumstances, will be left behind on the couch watching heroes on TV, as you head up and out to commit mind, body and spirit to your true calling."
~ Jack Cooper, author, ACROSS MY SILENCE: A Collection of Poems