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This is the sixth post in a 7-week series covering Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you missed the first five weeks, you can read them here.

Wrestling is largely viewed as an individual sport. Each athlete competes individually and often assumes an "all on me" mentality while competing. It wasn't until my senior year that I realized that while teamwork wasn't required in the sport, the benefits of synergizing were innumerable.

Enter Habit 6: Synergize. We know we've created synergy when 1 + 1 = 3... or 10... or 60. When the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

As individuals, we were average. We didn't have a single state champion on our varsity roster. None of us were winning every match, placing in tournaments, or getting college offers. And yet, our team was undefeated in duals. If you're unfamiliar, a dual in wrestling is when two teams will have a wrestler face off for each weight class. Each individual win secures your team points, and whichever team has the most points at the end wins the dual.

It was bewildering to be so average as individual athletes and then dominate in the team setting. It was because of the synergy our team possessed that we were able to win the first team district championship in our schools history.

Synergy isn't required in wrestling and it's not required in life. Existing independently, relying only on your own talent and perspectives will guarantee you a sum of 1 + 1 = 2. But why limit yourself when the benefits of synergizing are available to you?

Synergizing is the culmination of habits 4 and 5. It's reaping the benefits of working with those that see the world differently than you. If two people have the same opinion or perspective, then one becomes unnecessary. When two people combine their differences, it creates something greater than what could have existed had they remained independent.

Seek what Covey deems the "3rd alternative" (aka 1 + 1 = 3) by:

  • Seeking first to understand, then be understood

  • Valuing differences

  • Exploring alternatives

We can go much farther together than we ever could apart.


Write down a task you usually complete alone. Text a friend and ask them to complete it with you.


What is preventing you from synergizing in your life? (i.e. pride, impatience, lack of effort)


“Synergy is not the same as compromise. In a compromise, one plus one equals one and a half at best.” - Dr. Stephen R. Covey

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