“Human Optimization™” is a system of strategies designed to help you achieve success and happiness so that you can “either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing” (Benjamin Franklin). You want to be the best that you can be, and “Human Optimization” presents strategies that will help you achieve your goals. You will achieve your maximum potential, productivity, and performance, while also enhancing your experience of peace, or well-being. Unparalleled success, joy, happiness, and fulfillment will be your companions on your journey through life.
The term “Human Optimization” might seem strange at first glance, because it is a new concept, but it’s meaning is almost self explanatory. We are all familiar with “S.E.O.”, or “Search Engine Optimization,” as the process of “optimizing” a web site to gain the highest possible ranking in search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Simply put, it is the process of making the site the best that it can be.
Human Optimization is a system of strategies designed to help optimize individuals. Simply put, Human Optimization, which could otherwise be called people optimization, is the process of making people the best that they can be.
When we optimize the individual we contribute to making the world a better place to live, work, and play. Therefore, in it’s broadest sense “Human Optimization” refers to the optimization of “humanity.” Optimize people and you contribute to the optimization of humanity. But that is it’s broadest scope. More specifically, it refers to the optimization of each individual person.
Skill vs. Peace (Abilities vs. Well-Being)
Often when we talk about personal development, personal growth, self-help, self improvement, or related concepts, we speak in terms of either improving skills, or enhancing a persons sense of peace or well-being (wellness). It’s an either/or approach. Many speakers and teachers focus on some aspect of improving an individual’s skills: communication, people skills, administrative abilities, conflict resolution, leadership development, and the list goes on—important topics to be sure. Other speakers and teachers, fewer in number, are concerned with the well-being of the individual, or their “inner health” or “wellness” as opposed to their “outer abilities—this is also critically important to the development of the individual.”
Human Optimization recognizes the importance of both and establishes the need to bring the two together. Both “skill” and “peace” (well-being or wellness) contribute to fully optimizing an individual. To be more precise, Human Optimization teaches the importance of balancing “skill” and “peace” (“well-being” or “wellness”) for achieving the greatest level of success and enjoyment (happiness) in life. A person cannot achieve their maximum potential, productivity, and performance without giving appropriate attention to both inner peace (well-being) and external abilities (skills).
Human development (i.e. personal growth or development) is a vital element in the success of any organization. Personal development is also an essential aspect of personal success. Unfortunately, an incomplete developmental model is often endorsed. Such a model over emphasized the development of “skill” at the expense of “peace” or “well-being” (wellness). This incomplete model looks something like this:
This kind of developmental strategy represents a clear imbalance. The tendency is to focus heavily on skill, and to be light on peace or well-being. Here an individual’s experience of peace is ignored in favor of skills development. While there is nothing wrong with the desire to elevate an individual’s skill, the whole person must be addressed in order to “maximize” potential, productivity, and performance. There is a dynamic relationship between skill and peace or well-being.
A more complete developmental strategy can be illustrated by the following diagram:
You will “maximize” a persons potential, productivity, and performance, and thus their ability to succeed, when you balance the development of skills and the enhancement of peace (well-being).
Human Optimization recognizes the synergistic relationship between skill and peace. Develop either and you improve an individuals ability to succeed to some degree. Enhance both skill and peace simultaneously, and you “maximize” an individual’s ability to succeed. You make it possible for them to become the best that they can be.
The goal of Human Optimization is to “maximize” an individual’s ability to succeed by enhancing both skills and peace together. Balancing skills and peace represents the foundation of Human Optimization.
Human Optimization Wheel™: ‘Picture’ The Big Picture
The “Human Optimization Wheel” (illustrated below) presents a complete picture of this new and innovative model. The goal is to achieve a balance of skill and peace in all areas of life. Notice that the wheels “hub” represents “peace” (or “well-being”), while the “tire” portion of the wheel represents “skills.” Both “skill” and “peace” (well-being or wellness) must be addresses simultaneously for maximum development to occur. The spokes, on the other hand, represent the key aspects of life where “skill” and “peace” must be achieved.
The wheel diagram is not simply a nice way to package “Human Optimization.” In other words, it’s not just a pretty package. It is used because it is both descriptive and functional. By it’s very nature a wheel is a functional object that helps a vehicle move forward. The “Human Optimization wheel” illustrates how we can best move forward in our life, our work, and our world. It provides a working model, a clear picture, of how anyone can achieve genuine success and enjoyment—or happiness—in life.
The Hub: Peace or Well-Being
The hub is an essential part of a wheel yet it’s value is usually ignored and underrated, that is, until it breaks—or the bearing seizes as in the case of our modern vehicles. When that happens you are instantly aware of its importance. Whether your talking about a horse drawn wagon or a motorized automobile, no vehicle is going anywhere without a working hub. In fact, it could be argued that the hub is the most important part of the wheel since you are still able to move forward with a flat tire, while a seized hub will stop you in your tracks—and it certainly takes more time and effort to fix the hub.
When it comes to Human Optimization, or the process of developing people to their maximum potential, the hub represents the experience of peace (well-being) in a persons life. Peace is the central aspect of Human Optimization around which everything else revolves. Without personal well-being the human condition is diminished. Peace is the foundation on which success is build. Without peace an individual’s growth potential is stalled. People who lack peace or well-being are unable to “move forward”—just like a vehicle with a broken hub. They are unable to achieve success and enjoyment in life.
The Outer Wheel: Skills
The outer part of the wheel is the part of the wheel that encounters the ground. This is where the “rubber that meets the road” so to speak. A vehicle is able to move forward as the wheel turns. The level of performance is determined by the quality of the outer ring or tire. A low quality tire will not perform nearly as well as a high performance tire. This is especially true when the conditions are less than optimal or the tire is being challenged in some way by speed, maneuvering, or road conditions. Performance is determined by the quality of the tire.
The outer ring of the “Human Optimization Wheel” illustrates similar realities. This is the part of your life that comes into contact with the world in which you live. The ultimate goal of all personal development models or strategies is to help you function on a new level, to help you have greater influence at home, at work, and in society. Ultimately it is to help you to succeed.
When a person develops new skills their potential, productivity, and performance are amplified—at least that’s the goal. In theory, their achievements in life will increase as their skills increase. Those who don’t continually strive to improve their abilities will not be able to achieve their maximum potential, in fact, they will live far below their potential. Their forward momentum in life will stall.
The Spokes: Life Categories
The purpose of spokes is to add strength and stability to the wheel. Without them the wheel will warp and eventually break. The whole wheel will be compromised if even one spoke breaks, becomes loose, or is missing. The more weak or broken spokes there are the greater the deterioration of the wheel will be.
The same principle applies with the “Human Optimization Wheel.” In the “Human Optimization Wheel” the spokes represent different areas of a persons life that require development to maintain consistent balanced growth. Each category is important in the process of “Human Optimization.” When you ignore one category then the developmental process is hindered to some degree. The more weak spokes you have the more your overall potential, productivity, and performance will be compromised. The ability to succeed will diminish.
A synergistic relationship exists between “skill” and “peace”—each is important to the other. This means that there is a dynamic energy flow between the two. The spoke acts like a conduit transferring energy from the hub to the wheel, or from “skill” to “peace” and back again. When an individual’s experience of peace is elevated there is a transfer of energy toward the outer wheel, which will strengthen an individuals abilities and their potential for success. At the same time, when an individual acquires new skills there is a transfer of energy toward the hub, which enhances their experience of peace or well-being.
Does it matter how many spokes you work with, or how you categories your life? Not at all! That is not the point. There are many models that divide life into various categories, and some are better than others. Choose the model that works best for you. But have a model! The important factor is to continually challenge yourself to grow in all areas of your life. Only then will you maximize your ability to succeed and enjoy life.
G Strategies™ | Growth Strategies for Success™
To achieve your greatest potential for success in life, it is essential that you balance the development of skills and the enhancement of peace or well-being—keep the whole wheel healthy. Human Optimization offers a framework, a system of thought and strategies, to help you succeed. This developmental model ensure that you will become the best that you can possibly be. You will achieve your maximum potential. You will be able to succeed and enjoy your life as never before. And who doesn’t want that?