Imagine you’re a student in Prof. Dr Tina Seelig’s class at Stanford University and she presents you with an intriguing challenge. She divides the class into teams and hands each group a mere five dollars as startup funding. The goal? Maximise your earnings within two hours and deliver a compelling three-minute presentation about your accomplishments.
Now, what would you do in this situation?
Many students take the typical route, using the five dollars to set up a small car wash or lemonade stand or even trying their luck with a lottery ticket or roulette game. However, the teams pursuing these conventional paths only succeeded a little.
Here’s where the truly successful teams differed—they realised that the five dollars itself was merely a distraction and didn’t hold significant value. They decided to step back, reassess the situation, and approach it from a broader perspective. They asked themselves, “What can we achieve if we start with absolutely nothing?”
One particularly resourceful team came up with a brilliant idea.
They recognised that the key wasn’t in the five dollars or even in finding an alternative use for it. Instead, they focused on their core strengths and their unique resources. They discovered that their most valuable asset wasn’t the five dollars or the two-hour timeframe—it was their three-minute presentation time in front of a captivated Stanford class.
This team thought outside the box and seized the opportunity. They decided to sell their three-minute slot to a company interested in recruiting Stanford students. By doing so, they walked away with a remarkable $650 in their pockets.
So, what can we learn from this experiment?
It reminds us to look beyond the obvious and question what we fixate on in our lives. Are there any “$5 things” that capture our attention and prevent us from exploring other possibilities? Are we focusing too much on limited resources and overlooking other valuable assets at our disposal?
Consider the bigger picture and think creatively. How can you ignore the distractions and find your own two-hour window of opportunity? Or better yet, how can you identify the most valuable three minutes in your arsenal? Remember, success often lies in leveraging your unique strengths and finding innovative solutions rather than fixating on external resources.
I encourage you to apply these lessons to your own life. Challenge the status quo, embrace your strengths, and seize the opportunities that others might overlook. Doing so can unlock your full potential and achieve remarkable results.
Listen, Watch, Learn
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We all face challenges in our lives and different people respond best to one kind of coping or another depending on their personality and their individual circumstances. In this short article, Emma explores the two primary ways of coping with stress and challenges and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
💭 Finally, a quote to get you thinking
Until next time,
From your friends at Resilience Development Co,