The Actualizers **Something Positive for Home, Work and Beyond**

The Actualizers

I got a phone call on a Sunday evening asking if I would come out to watch a movie about Israel called “Israel Inside.”  I normally wouldn’t go to something like this but I on this day I agreed.   I met up with a few friends the next day and headed a little reluctantly to see this movie.  I didn’t really know what it was about but I thought it had something to do with the conflict in Israel.   I didn’t need to hear anymore about conflict but I just decided to give this movie a chance.   What followed was simply eye-opening.  It was framed around Israel but it really was more about people and community. For this reason, I have decided after a great deal of thought to share this with you.

From the pages of Akvia 

In 55 minutes, this insightful and uplifting documentary sidesteps the usual conversation of politics, conflict and violence, and tells the story of the Israeli people – a resilient and dynamic nation – whose spirit has brought the tiny country of Israel to the forefront of world innovation and progress.

The film’s narrator, Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, also weaves his own life into the documentary and takes you on a journey to understand what being an Israeli is all about.

Tal, who is a highly successful academic, public speaker and author, gave up a prominent position as Harvard University’s most popular lecturer to return to his homeland, Israel. Tal explores core Israeli character strengths – called “actualizers” – that enable the country to succeed against incredible odds. Through Tal’s eyes we discover that deep-seated values such as education, family and responsibility to the world, directly contribute to Israel’s accomplishments in the economic, technological and humanitarian spheres.

“None of these actualizers are in and of themselves unique to Israel, but in combination, they are bringing about an almost unparalleled progress, success and contribution to the world,” Tal says in the film. “These actualizers have not only made Israel what it is, they also have the potential to help us all enjoy happier, more successful, more productive lives. Through them we can contribute. We can make the world a better place.”








Maybe You Watched — Maybe Not..

I believe in reuse and of course credit.  I am sharing a written definition and commentary on Actualizers from Business Improvement Architects (  Since there are six actualizers I will add Adversity to Advantage.

Five Actualizers for Success

by Sally Stanleigh
Success is an elusive and time sensitive condition that is usually not a constant. Yet some people experience it in their careers and lives more consistently than others. So what is the secret for achieving success? I recently watched an interesting video called, “Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference” that demonstrated the innovative products and inventions from Israel. It provided some interesting insights into some of the things that have contributed to Israel’s achievement of success.The video featured the observations of a Harvard psychologist and PhD, Tal Ben-Shahar who speaks of a unique combination of actualizers that have contributed to the success of Israel as a country. Yet these actualizers are not limited to countries, they may also provide us with clues as to how to ensure personal success in our lives.
Caring, Supportive and Nurturing Family
According to Ben-Shahar, “Family is the soil in which growth takes place.” When children are raised in warm, caring and nurturing family units, they receive a strong foundation in life that ultimately allows them to experience a greater chance for success. The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” points to the responsibility of the entire community in fulfilling this task, regardless of a child’s biological parent(s).Warmth and caring early in life makes for confident adults who feel secure and empowered. These individuals naturally strive to become independent because they feel able to fulfill their life’s dreams. And with emotional strength, comes resiliency; the ability to bounce back from adversity and be able to overcome the obstacles and challenges that life throws at each of us. Hence a caring, supportive and nurturing family unit in which everyone takes care of each other is a powerful actualizer for success in our lives.
Chutzpah–a Combination of Boldness and Determination
What is chutzpah? Chutzpah is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad. It derives from the Hebrew word “huspa,” meaning “insolence” or “audacity.” However, the modern English usage of the word has taken on a broader meaning that may be interpreted as the amount of courage, mettle or ardour that an individual has. In this context it is a combination of boldness, gall and fearlessness. Chutzpah means not taking “no” for an answer. It also means challenging the status quo. Chuzpah is what allows us to “pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.” It is another powerful actualizer for success.
Education is an obvious predictor for success in life, which is why so many Western societies have advanced. However, the greatest value of education is that it encourages us to ask questions. Through questions we are motivated to find answers. Seeking these answers is what allows us to learn and uncover opportunities for success. Interestingly, the more we learn, the more we realize what we don’t know and this continuous cycle of exploration allows us to seek more answers to our questions. The outcome of learning is that it teaches us to challenge the status quo and in this way begins to foster innovative thinking and creativity; making it a very powerful actualizer for success.
Taking Action
The first three actualizers prepare us for success but do not guarantee it. We must move our ideas into action to succeed. Taking action is likely to involve significant effort and dedication and not taking action is often the barrier to success in our lives. Taking action may require help and support from others as well as personal tenacity and firm resolve when our plans run into snags; but it is a critical actualizer for success.
Achieving Focus and Meaning through Tikkun Olam—Repairing the World
“Tikkun olam” is a Hebrew phrase that means “repairing the world” (or “healing and restoring the world”) which suggests humanity’s shared responsibility (with the Creator) “to heal, repair and transform the world.” In a broader sense, it means taking responsibility for the welfare of the society at large and promoting goodness through positive social action. Tikkun Olam forces one to question the value of what we do in the context of improving the state of the world and helping others. It gives us focus and adds meaning to our work; helping us to act for something that is greater than ourselves.Think about the greatest heroes, inventors and leaders in history and what they contributed in the world. Their actions ultimately moved the world forward because they helped people; they made lives better in some way and added value to the world. While not all of us may hope to become a: Ghandi, Sister Theresa, Alexander Graham Bell, Jonas Salk or Albert Einstein, we can and do make a difference when we dedicate ourselves to promoting goodness for those around us.If we apply the concept of “tikkun olam” to our everyday lives on a smaller scale; thinking about the good we can do in our personal circles of influence, we improve our chance for success. It begins when we ask ourselves, “What can I do to improve my life and the lives of those around me?” Or, “How can I use my unique talents and strengths to help others?” Promoting goodness through “Tikkun Olam” motivates us; propelling our efforts in a significant and meaningful way; it gives us meaning and purpose in life and motivation to succeed. This is why it is a significant actualizer for success. © Business Improvement Architects, MMXII

Adversity to Advantage

We all face adversity in our lives.  It could be that you grew up in a tough situation or that you had to walk to school barefoot up hill both ways.  It could be that you were shunned for being who you were or many other things.  The question is what did you do with that adversity?  Did you turn that into something positive?   A few people from different walks of life can come to mind, Rosa Parks, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and many others.  Your hardship and challenges are the stone that sharpen you.  These challenges make you stronger by exercising your character, your determination and your skills.


As we all know and some of us forget (including me), we are only here for a very short time.  In a blink your life has brought you to where you are.   What matters is that we have from moment to moment an opportunity to grow, change and reframe our perspective.  Choice is a gift.  Having purpose is a driver.  Our purpose and the choices that we make will help sculpt the outcome of our being.  I will personally continue to study these “actualizers” in order to help keep focused on positive outcomes.. how about you?