Synergy is one of the most powerful effectors that we can engage in to produce much greater benefits in our lives. 

Definition:  The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. 

It occurs also through cooperative interaction among groups to create an enhanced combined effect.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  1 plus 1 creates 3.    it is a "working together" that produces a bigger better effect than what each element or person could have caused individually.  But how can that be?

Stephen Covey, in his book The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, actually named the 6th Habit "Synergize", as described on  Synergize.  Discussed his posts "Posts Tagged 'Synergy'".  See also Video Habit 6 (3:54). (Search for others.)  He later wrote about "The 3rd Alternative Paradigm", when dealing with conflicts or conflicting objectives and opinions. Video (4:50).  

Then he added his book on The 8th Habit, From Effectiveness To Greatness, where the parts of your life can be melded into a synergistic whole, to create a much greater life.  [Video, The 8th Habit Part 1.(9:19).  to see the other parts, enter into the search engine on YouTube or use the links from the alliance site at Stephen Covey Resources page.]

A simple example of synergy occurred in my business life.  Early on in my financial advising career, I insisted that I be able to have an assistant.  The assistant was greatly effective at freeing up my time to do what was more effective.  In 1990, she made about $100,000, far more than she would have made otherwise AND at the same time I made more than I could have on my own.  That is synergy at its simplest. 

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the first Apple Computer (mostly Wozniak) and succeeded in making it popular and of appealing design (mostly Steve Jobs' super-drive).  That's synergy.

In life, sleeping a full 1 hour more a night for a sleep deprived individual can increase productivity by several hours' worth in that same day.  From one hour, two were produced - out of thin air!  

Some people think in "linear" terms, in additive and subtractive terms.  If I take a half an hour a day exercising, then I will only have 23.5 hours left and therefore I'll get less of life.  But what actually happens is that the extra health and the extra energy produce the equivalent of extra production of personal benefits and of hours feeling good.  The return on the 1/2 hour 'lost' is to gain 1-2 hours a day in feeling-good-benefit and in greater production. 

If you merge your basic brainpower with the learning of a skill, instead of making $10/hour for a non-skilled job, one could make anywhere from double to 20 times that amount - and feel better about life and spend the same or less energy getting the benefit, plus retiring earlier and living better and....   There is a huge benefit on gaining a skill in a field where it has value.   Amazingly enough, people spend hours and hours grinding away in a job that produces little and doesn't feel good, instead of spending their time learning a skill that would free up the equivalent of 10 times that amount of time spent - but more likely if measured year over year, because the skill keeps on paying off, it will return 100's of times the "cost" of spending the time to gain the skill.

Synergy even occurs in learning, via what is called "the learning curve", where the payoff for time and the increased ability is relatively low at first and then things seem to come together all of a sudden and leap forward in a synergistic surge of greater effectiveness.  (The same idea occurs in the underlying concept in "The Progression Curve".)

When the industrial age occurred, the income of the average person leaped forward when one combined being systematic with using machines for "leverage" (a synergistic device) to increase the value produced by a human being.  Hours + cost turned into huge dollars of benefit, far greater than the inputs! 


Perhaps you get the idea here: it is not wise to not use synergy in one's life, as to get more of what somebody wants is a "linear" (higher effort) endeavor, whereas one can get several times the benefit simply by using synergy!!!!!   It is, once someone understands the idea of synergy, unintelligent not to use it!!!!!

The reality is that before one can coast on the effect of synergy one must first push oneself up and over the hill to get the benefits.  At first it may seem that the cost is simply greater, as we often fail to see the long term and total benefit - which is hugely greater. 

But once you get the idea thoroughly into your operating brain and look for opportunities to synergize, you actually begin to find things that take no extra energy to create an extra return.  What, you say, a return without an investment??!!  Well, not literally, as you invested in learning about synergy and learning to think more effectively, but the cost is almost nothing to keep on using those skills to get greater and greater benefits.  


There is a great cost to linear thinking, failing to assess the full consequences, and thinking in short periods of time.  Yet we incur that cost - simply because we have not been taught (i.e. not learned) what it takes to get more out of life via such tools as synergy.

For instance, the cost in time and money to discover what one's aptitudes and interests are may seem to be too great.  So one will simply just utilize the opportunities available at a lower level, often thinking "well, that's just who I am, this is me, this is what I'm stuck with".  Well, that is certainly not synergistic thinking! 

It is "subtractive" thinking, only focused on costs, which are often exaggerated also.  If I do all this work, it'll take away my time and my comfort.  Almost no weight or even recognition of future benefit is given or occurs. 

In fact, this type of thinking is typical of "immature" thinking, where one thinks he knows more than he knows and where the person values only the short term gratifications and fails to understand the long term consequences.  Yet "mature" businessmen even engage in this.  This is not about "faulting" anyone.  It is, instead, about recognizing the value of "educating" (giving more knowledge to a person) so that the person has the know-how to operate much better in life.  (Read No Fault and Authentic Learning to fully understand and get rid of the tension and make wrong and mistakes that occur around all of this.)

People tend to learn randomly and don't get very far, even learning the wrong things that get in the way of living a better life.  When we merge "systematic" learning (on a planned scheduled program basis) with using greater expertise (such as coaches and consultants), we hugely magnify the gains that can be had.  I am disappointed when I see people fail to realize the benefits of having a coach.  Often they focus on factual  disagreements with the coach, or object to the preaching or the nagging, occasional periods where no forward motion occurs, or on the hassle to prepare for the meetings or on the uncomfortability involved in being "accountable" to someone else, etc.  But in so doing, they lose a huge amount of benefit that will be gained from any coaching relationship from any successful coach.

The principle of synergy is involved heavily in learning.  If one learns life better, then one stops repeating over and over and over behaviors and strategies that cause harm and/or no or low benefits in life.  The lack of learning, in other words, gives us a continued penalty, repeated over and over.  But the learning gives us a benefit repeated over and over, amounting to benefits far greater than our cost in time - but also putting us vastly ahead of where we would have been otherwise:

Better living of life   ____________________________

Normal                   ____________________________         Total advantage
Living less of a life   ___________________________

A vital life concept

Although this seems like just a mathematics thing, it is actually the reality of how life works - and if you know it and understand it, your life will progress much more rapidly into all that you want. Without it, your life will be a slog...

Compounding And Accumulating In Life - A Key Concept For Better Life Decisions

A very important principle to practice!

Principle Of Leveraging Other People's Efforts - To Magnify The Gains, After Of Course The Costs