Divergent Lessons for Success
I just finished reading the entire Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. Have you read it yet? I believe the books were written with the Middle School/High School age group in mind, but the story offers many layers intriguing and thought provoking for adults as well.
Without giving too much away for those who have yet to immerse in this complex look at a future dystopian United States, I want to share a few timeless lessons embedded into Divergent Story.
One of the factors that a successful entrepreneur requires is an open mind. Many who step into the world of entrepreneurship do so because they are unable to fit themselves into the box that society, their parents, education and culture prescribe. In the Divergent Trilogy, particularly in the thirds book – Allegiant – there is much to be learned about labels and boxes.
As a society going back throughout history, we have consistently labeled and divided people into group and factions. Then we’ve decided within our countries or communities how those factions should be defined and perceived. Over the course of time, different skills, attributes and circumstances of birth have landed people in boxes defined by those outside the box and then taken to heart by those inside. When African slaves were brought to America they were labeled as “less than” because of nothing more than the color of their skin. Yet because for many generations they were told they were less smart, less capable, less “HUMAN” , the struggle for racial equality has become one that is still being fought legally, educationally and within the black culture itself.. An example of this is Bill Cosby has speaking out strongly about change for African-Americans that must come from within.
It happens to this day and it is the underlying moral message in the Divergent Trilogy. As successful entrepreneurs we have already stepped outside the norms of the predominant societal expectations by deciding to walk our own path. Yet as we continue that journey we must also not fall into that very same trap of labeling and judging. For example, it is not better or worse to be an Entrepreneur as compared to a Corporate Employee. It might be for me or for you. But there are many who enjoy their jobs, feel fulfilled and happy and love leaving their work related responsibilities in their office or store at the end of the day. We will come across clients and customers daily who challenge our preconceived ideas, if we open our minds to that challenge.
When I am doing success coaching with my clients, we dive deeply into who they are authentically at their core in Foundation Formula. Often it is not who they thought they were. It not the label, nor the descriptions that others see them as. It is not usually who their parents or teachers thought they should be to have a Successful Life. And yet as humans we can easily slip into creating new labels and divisions even as we shed our old ones.
The challenge then my friends, is to understand intellectually and from the heart, that no one is inherently better or worse than any other. Yes some are smarter , some are more creative, some run faster and jump higher. Differences are not measurements. Diversity is not valued-based. The more centered and in tune with our own highest truths we can be, the more room we create for others to come into our lives who we may not have previously recognized as kindred, or allowed in. The sum of the whole is much stronger than any of it’s parts. Success requires we surround ourselves with people who offer unique perspectives, new ideas and that we continually grow and change throughout our lives.