Optimal Functioning is a holistic concept that includes the full potential inherent in each of us to perform, learn, and thrive. It is an ideal state we may never fully attain. Yet, if we are interested in high performance, in expressing and developing our best selves, in making a valuable contribution, then optimal functioning matters. This means that all personal development – and all leadership development – is about working towards optimal functioning.
There are many factors that influence our level of functioning. Where then do we need to focus if we are interested in Optimal Functioning? We need a practical approach that is powerful enough to provide leverage, without over-simplifying the complexity of the human condition. As I work with leaders to facilitate growth and change for optimal functioning, the “Four Potentials” model of Optimal Functioning provides such a practical, powerful framework.
Optimal Human Functioning at any point in time can be seen as a function of four core elements, or four core potentials: Energy, Attention, Connection, and Alignment.
These four elements form the “raw material” that we have available to us to perform, learn, and live satisfying, fulfilling lives. Our level of functioning at any point in time is determined by the quality of our energy, attention, connection and alignment. Hence, optimal functioning requires developing high levels of mastery in accessing and developing these four potentials.
We have a rich body of knowledge on these four core potentials and how to enhance their quality. This knowledge base provides us with valuable guidance for optimal functioning. By understanding the “basics” of the four potentials we are better able to assess our current state, and to identify our key leverage points for moving towards a more desirable future state.
While understanding the basics of the four potentials is essential as we learn to function closer to our optimal level, we also need to remember that there is no single answer to the question of “what is optimal”. The answer will always will be unique for each of us, in our particular situation, at a specific point in time. Finding the “optimal solution” is a matter of personal inquiry and reflection, experimentation and practice.
Developing the quality of our energy, attention, connection and alignment contributes to our effectiveness and well-being. We move closer to our level of “optimal functioning”. And since optimal functioning is always “in the context of relationship”, the impact of this goes much further. As we move closer to functioning optimally, it benefits those with whom we are in relationship – in life, at work, and in our community.
Contact me today to learn how a focus on Optimal Human Functioning and The Four Potentials can greatly enhance all aspects of your life, your career, and your organization.