In Shawn Achor’s book, Big Potential, he shares this sobering data:
“The average age of being diagnosed with depression in 1978 was twenty-nine. In 2009, the average age was fourteen and a half. Over the past decade, depression rates for adults have doubled, as have hospitalizations for attempted suicide for children as young as eight years old. What could possibly have changed so much to account for this?”
Achor points to rise of technology and social media. For kids, there is a never-ending need to announce accomplishments and the whirlpool of competition (from boyfriends to athletic prowess to stupid tricks to selfies) keeps spinning faster and faster dragging more and more people in. And then there is the pressure that continues to ramp up in schools and on the athletic fields and arts platforms. Better grades. Higher batting average. Flawless performances. Pressure! Pressure! Pressure!
For adults, it is not much different. Promotions, projects, and performance all set the stage for continual pressure points.
Achor’s challenge and call is for us to understand that our potential is “interconnected with others.” “We need to stop trying to be faster alone, and start working to become stronger together.”
Good words for today, right?
We are about to enter a time when we need each other more than ever. When the economy opens back up, we face choices. Everyone for themselves or everyone helping each other to recover. People want and need to get back on their feet. Each of us can help someone succeed. How?
- Be an encourager.
- Help someone find work.
- Listen to a hurting friend.
- Support a local business and encourage others to do the same.
- Celebrate someone else’s win.
“Because when we work to help others achieve success, we not only raise the performance of the group, we exponentially increase our own potential…making others better takes your success to the next level.”