Reaching For Greatness In The New Year

December 30, 2018 — Ben Oh
Fully employees outside of the Summit of Greatness conventionFully employees outside of the Summit of Greatness convention

As 2018 comes to a close, the age-old tradition of planning new year’s resolutions becomes the prevailing agenda for many. December is a time to reflect on the trials, tribulations, joys and victories of this past year. We seek to better ourselves in the new year, committing to change our mindsets, habits, and set new goals that push ourselves towards greatness.

New Years Resolutions for 2019

Since we all have vastly different resolutions to make, there is no single prescription that works for everyone. However, we can all draw inspiration for setting resolutions by listening to words of wisdom from amazing individuals that have insights to overcome some of life’s toughest hurdles.

Lewis Howes on stage introducing the Summit of GreatnessLewis Howes on stage introducing the Summit of Greatness
Summit of Greatness 2018

Back in October of this year, a number of us Fully folks had the privilege of attending Lewis Howes’ Summit of Greatness, where we learned from some of the most inspiring individuals who overcame life-shattering tribulations.

But why would a furniture company be so invested in sponsoring and attending the Summit of Greatness? What does Greatness have to do with standing desks and active sitting chairs?

To Live Fully is to strive for Greatness

Our founder, David Kahl, has often shared that “This company is my practice.” We are motivated as a company and individually through living out our values and finding deeper meaning in the work we do. So when we talk about Living Fully, it’s about living with that intention—to drive a positive impact—and make today better than yesterday. Moreover, it’s an invitation to be more human, and less cyborgy, in our hyper-digital, overwhelming, and mindlessly automated society. Through mind and body connection, let’s pause to acknowledge our humanity while stepping back to see the big picture.

As proud sponsors of Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness podcast, Fully was excited and all-in when Lewis mentioned he would bring together an extraordinary crew to his annual Summit of Greatness. While we were honored to share our furniture, we attended as a team to both learn and connect with some incredible people who are living Fully and redefining Greatness. We hope that some of our biggest takeaways will serve as inspiration for developing your resolutions for 2019.

Lewis Howes: from tragedy to transformation

The overarching theme of The Summit was overcoming self-doubt. To create any impact in the world, we need to overcome self-doubt. Lewis opened the summit sharing some of his personal story—about his career-ending football injury. For Lewis, playing professional football was his everything, the bedrock from which he built his identity. His sense of self was completely shattered, following the injury. From there, he endured an arduous journey from his sister’s couch to The Summit stage. Looking back on that transformational experience, he broke down the three causes of self-doubt: fear of failure, fear of success and fear of judgement. At the intersection of those three causes is the feeling, “I am not enough.”

Lewis Howes on stage discussing his ideas about overcoming self doubtLewis Howes on stage discussing his ideas about overcoming self doubt

Throughout the entire Summit, Lewis brought together a diverse group of incredible speakers who are absolutely living Fully, and inspiring others to do so by sharing ideas that define Greatness as something far deeper than financial success.

Jay Shetty on stage discussing generosity Jay Shetty on stage discussing generosity
Jay Shetty and the essential experience of generosity

Jay Shetty is a former monk who is now making wisdom go viral. He insightfully pointed out that humans are intrinsically wired for service and generosity, but we’ve been educated for greed. We reflected on how good it feels to help another person out, and how essential that feeling is to the human experience.

Yet, we’ve been raised in a culture that promotes ego and a false perception of self. Quoting one of his mentors, he dropped this nugget of wisdom:

“I am not who I think I am.
I am not who you think I am.
I am what I think you think I am.”

The anxiety around managing this perception may be limiting our own self-actualization. And within this paradigm, tension arises around two crushing lies:

You’re not good enough.
You can do anything.

When the reality is I can’t be anything I want to be, but I can be everything I am. From this more honest place, we can individually find our meaning and purpose.

Lindsey Stirling on stage at Summit of Greatness performing the violinLindsey Stirling on stage at Summit of Greatness performing the violin
Lindsey Stirling: journey vs. destination

To put emphasis to that point, Lindsey Stirling took the stage to share her art as well as her story of resilience. Her genre-bending and media-blending art is an inspiring story focused around faith, conviction, and above all else, authenticity. She failed in monumental ways while learning to prioritize the journey over the destination to then transcend what is possible. Along this journey, she’s had to practice self-forgiveness, not as a burden of self-care but as a way to celebrate taking that chance.

Dr. Mark Hyman on stage at Summit of Greatness speaking on health movement and dietDr. Mark Hyman on stage at Summit of Greatness speaking on health movement and diet
Treating disease with proactive healthcare

Dr. Mark Hyman took the stage to deliver the message that Food is Medicine. He reminded us that our health is not predetermined by genetics, and therefore, we need to be the CEO of our own health. He’s rooted himself as a leader in the field of Functional Medicine where the focus is about creating health so we don’t have to treat disease. Beyond eating a more balanced diet with whole foods, he shared other variables that balance optimal health: movement, sleep/rest, rhythm, and love. Adding in that human connection component was refreshing to hear from a medical professional.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary on stage at Summit of Greatness speaking on conscious parentingDr. Shefali Tsabary on stage at Summit of Greatness speaking on conscious parenting
Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s Conscious Parenting

Dr. Shefali Tsabary shared her perspective on Conscious Parenting where raising children is far more about raising parents’ awareness. Like Jay, she pointed out that until we’re ready to kill our sense of “Self,” we’re only living in patterns. And to break these societal patterns, we need to awaken our consciousness to be more intentional about how our lives, our kids, our future manifests. We each need the freedom to trust that who we are is whole, abundant and worthy.

Shaun T on stage at the summit of greatness speaking on embracing our humanityShaun T on stage at the summit of greatness speaking on embracing our humanity
Allowing grace: Shaun T on embracing our humanity

Earlier, Jay Shetty gave the advice to choose something small and then make that the highest priority. For example, if I’m going to eat healthier, I can start with cutting my midnight snack—a relatively small thing that I can prioritize to implement immediately and build off of.

Shaun T, the fitness guru who brought us workouts like T25, Insanity, and Hip Hop Abs passed on forewarning that after the initial excitement of change wears off there will be an Implementation Dip.

"Along my journey of eating better, it’s inevitable there will be a late night that Chinese food at 2am happens."

It’s important to give yourself this grace, acknowledge that we’re human, we’re going to go down to go up, and still work towards consistency.

Eric Thomas on stage at the Summit of Greatness speaking about mentorship and faithEric Thomas on stage at the Summit of Greatness speaking about mentorship and faith
‘I am’ – Eric Thomas

Following Shaun T’s energy, we were then blessed to feel Eric Thomas’ presence. Aka The Hip Hop Preacher, Eric T, PhD, shared his improbable journey from being homeless, living in abandoned buildings to earning his PhD in Philosophy at Michigan State. He came with a lot of energy, but a very simple message: I am.

With strong mentorship and deep faith, the ability for Eric to ground himself, and not just think, but know, that he had something to offer the world, is what propelled him on his inspiring journey. Like his mantra of “I am,” his strategic framework breaks down just as clearly:

  1. Kill the noise. You don’t need permission.
  2. Embrace the I am. Average skill just need phenomenal will.
  3. Stop trying to do it their way. Work a system that works for you.
In Q takes the stage at the Summit of Greatness to perform poetryIn Q takes the stage at the Summit of Greatness to perform poetry
In-Q’s poetry for the soul

After Dr. Thomas brought in roof-bursting energy, In-Q took us to a headier space with some mind-blowing poetry. One that takes a step back from the physical world we live in, and looks at it both from within and as a whole.

“You can climb the highest mountain and never change the view. Perspective has to come from you.“

In this age of personal branding through social media, he shared the wisdom that “Comparison is the thief of Joy.” So in measuring Greatness, we should not compare ourselves to others, but rather compare our today to who we were yesterday. He insightfully shared that one doesn’t reach “happiness.” The emotion of happiness exists in small moments, and we need to be working towards something deeper—and more real.

Dr. Tererai Trent takes the stage at the Summit of Greatness to discuss educationDr. Tererai Trent takes the stage at the Summit of Greatness to discuss education
Dr. Tererai Trent and the power of education

In-Q shared the perspective that we’re all one connected body of energy, and Dr. Tererai Trent reinforced that with the concept of Ubuntu:

I am because we are.
Since we are, I am.

Dr. Tererai’s story. Wow. As a young girl living in Zimbabwe, Tererai understood that education is the main pathway out of poverty. A single mother of four children by the age of 18 who couldn’t get an education locally, came to America and over the course of 20 years earned multiple Masters degrees and a PhD, then returned back to Zimbabwe to transform education for her community. With a focus on empowering women and girls with the gift of an education, Dr. Tererai provided richer perspective around what the human spirit is capable of. She taught us about Tinogona—the concept that beyond doubt, beyond belief, you just know: It is achievable.

Amy Purdy takes the stage at the Summit of Greatness to talk about being extraordinaryAmy Purdy takes the stage at the Summit of Greatness to talk about being extraordinary
Amy Purdy: Being extraordinary

The Summit closed with Amy Purdy. Among her many talents, she is a Paralympic Snowboarding bronze and silver medalist who has also been featured on Dancing with the Stars. She has an infectious personality and worldview that stems from her rhetorical question to us,

“Why be ordinary when we were put on this earth to be extraordinary?”

When she lost her legs or dealt with a failing kidney, she focused on the things she had instead of what she lost.

When we face obstacles in our lives, they can either stop us in our tracks or we can get creative. And it’s this optimism that manifests through creativity that has driven her success. We have to be open to life’s detours if we’re going to find our true destiny. She left us with one last open-ended question: If your life was a book and you were its author, how would you want your story to be told?

Obstacles or opportunities?

How will you take action in 2019? Will you, as Amy suggests, write a transformative narrative for your life?

As we anticipate the new year, let’s reflect on the lessons we learned in 2018, and develop resolutions that will create a positive impact on our lives and the lives of others. Let's resolve to be more cognizant of our mind-body connection, to consider how a higher self-awareness could elevate our relationships with loved ones and strangers alike. Let's resolve to make 2019 the year of living fully, embracing our humanity and reaching for greatness.