academy for personal development

16 Elements of Human Achievement

overview

We spent the last 20 years searching for the answer to one question: What are the fundamental elements that drive success and human achievement?  

We hired a dedicated team of scientists to search across industries and disciplines. We looked most closely at the science of gamification, fascinated by the gaming industry’s consistent ability to create addiction. 

We wondered what would happen if we could take that same science and methodology of game design and apply it to life! 

What if we could get someone as addicted to life… to progress… to achievement… and to real-world outcomes as they are to the virtual games they play so religiously?

What we uncovered, after a rigorous process of research, synthesis, and distillation, were 16 Elements that are the fundamental drivers of success and human achievement.

These 16 Elements show up throughout game mechanics and across industries like behavioral economics, cognitive and behavioral psychology, sports psychology, and more. 

The 16 Elements that power engagement for individual, leadership, and organizational success and achievement.

When these elements are active in our lives, or within a context or area of life, we are more engaged, more productive, and more successful.

These elements activate the energy within us to move forward. When it comes to human performance, there are really only three variables… there’s time, talent, and energy. And the research makes clear: between time, talent, and energy, energy matters most. 

For more information on this, see our two courses in Foundations on energy (here and here).

On the other hand, when these elements are inactive (or go inactive) we disengage. We lose energy, stall, and stagnate. We will cover this in more detail in the upcoming Orbits course set.

The 16 Elements Academy is where you come to learn more about each element. 

Here you’ll learn what each one is and how to implement it in your life to activate the energy inside of you and unleash your full potential.

The Human Achievement Process - a 6 Pillar Approach to power personal, leadership, and organizational success

a process of continuous improvement

As we researched these 16 Elements, we realized there was a frequently recurring configuration in how the elements were used, especially as they showed up in games. 

As we cross-referenced this, we found there was a common architecture within the elements that showed up again and again. That architecture consisted of four cornerstone sub-processes, each consisting of 4 elements.

From this research was born the Human Achievement Process, a 6-Pillar approach to achieving excellence.

This has become one of our most popular frameworks: a 6-Pillar Process designed to accelerate your success, imbue your life with purpose, increase your happiness and engagement, and advance you on your journey through life.

It’s a process of continuous improvement. 

It not only gives you more control over the outcomes of your own life, it also arms you with the understanding of how to be a positive influence in the lives of others.

The Human Achievement Process, based on the science of the 16 Elements, will give you the power to build and maintain momentum in every aspect of your life.

To help make learning the 16 Elements easier, we’ve broken them out by their corresponding pillars below.

orient

Orient-Cover

Being successful means starting right… starting strong. But so many don’t really know where they’re going, let alone how to get there. Let’s change that.

The first pillar, Orient, is all about getting your bearings. It’s about building a foundation that will allow you to move forward. It’s being deliberate about what lens you use to look forward (and backward). It’s figuring out who you are and what you’re capable of. It’s about finding your purpose, your mission, your individual “why.” 

It’s about choosing an objective that moves you forward. Lastly, it’s about making a plan and creating a solid move-forward strategy to get you there.

The Orient series will leave you holding your head higher. You’ll feel a new sense of vigor and excitement for life… an energy and vitality and confidence that will drive you to start moving in the right direction. 

This is the art of the start.

16 Elements - Orient
Perspective
The lens you choose to look through

Perspective

Answers: What world do I see?

 

A cornerstone component that determines the experiences we have and the meaning we get out of the life we live. This is about choosing our focus, taking control of our narrative, and processing events in a way that fuels the future.

16 Elements - Orient
Identity
Discover the Light Within

Identity

Answers: Who am I? 

 

A foundational and transformative journey of self-discovery. This is about knowing who you are, what you’re capable of, and believing in yourself. It’s about knowing that you’re capable of—and worth—so much more.

16 Elements - Orient
Objective
What you're going to accomplish

Objective

Answers: Where am I going?

 

Set your sights on the future and leave your past behind. This is about choosing a destination you care about, having a higher cause, and finding purpose to propel you forward.

16 Elements - Orient
Plan
Your way-forward strategy

Plan

Answers: How am I going to get there?

 

This is about knowing what to do next and having a clear path forward—with small and simple next steps clearly defined to reduce resistance and maintain forward momentum.

assemble

Empower-Cover

To be successful in life you can’t do it in isolation. Successful people know that they didn’t get there without help. In fact, they make getting that help a core part of their move-forward strategy for success. 

This series will help you fuel your success by accessing the support you need to succeed. You’ll learn how to access and leverage leaders and mentors, how to involve others in a way that increases enjoyment and powers progress.

You’ll also learn how to architect your environment to support success for the journey you’re on and how to adequately equip yourself for the journey ahead. 

The Assemble series will leave you feeling more confident in your journey and the chance of success. You’ll realize you aren’t in this alone and you’ll find unmistakable strength in the support and supply lines you’ve put into place.

16 Elements - Assemble
Relationship
The power of a team

Relationship

Answers: Do I have to do this alone?

 

Having people and connections that support you. This is about having connection and camaraderie. It’s doing things we care about with people we care about and being committed to and motivated by them.

16 Elements - Assemble
Space
What you need to move forward

Space

Answers: What do I need to get there?

 

How to get what you need, to do what you need to do. This is about identifying and obtaining the things you need to move forward... the tools, time, talents, permission, resources, or whatever else you need.

16 Elements - Assemble
Mentor
Having a guide for your journey

Mentor

Answers: Where can I turn for help?

 

Having access to help for when you get stuck. This is about having a guide, a mentor—someone who believes in you, who reminds you of why you fight, who sees the best in you and helps you become that.

16 Elements - Assemble
Environment
An ecosystem to support your journey

Environment

Answers: How do I ensure success?

 

Architecting an environment that sustains you. This is about having surroundings and the physical space you need to support and enable your effort. It’s people, systems, symbols, score, objectives, and other environmental cues.

act

Act-Cover

Getting oriented is amazing, but we can’t stop there. So often we have a strong sense of what we need to do or where we need to go, but we never make it there. 

The Act series covers the elements that help you change all that. 

This series will help you architect and engineer your success. You’ll start by creating a solid move-forward strategy. You’ll create your own personal scorecard to measure progress and be accountable.

You’ll learn how to build and maintain momentum in life. You’ll learn how to invest in your objective and in your plan so that you are motivated to keep moving forward. 

The Act series will create in you a sense of accomplishment, a sense of movement, a sense that you’re finally doing it. You’ll begin to feel more confident, optimistic and enthusiastic about all the progress you’re making. That enthusiasm, and the evidence of progress you’ll start to see, will help fuel long-term momentum. This is the critical art of execution.

16 Elements - Act
Score
Measuring progress

Score

Answers: Is it working?

 

Measure your performance and be accountable. This is about having a sense of winning and losing. It’s about knowing that you’re moving forward, or knowing when you’ve stalled so you can adapt accordingly.

16 Elements - Act
Momentum
The energy of motion

Momentum

Answers: What keeps me going?

 

Leveraging the energy of movement to fuel more movement. This is about staying active and anxiously engaged, because people in motion tend to stay in motion, while people at rest tend to stay at rest.

16 Elements - Act
Investment
Having skin in the game

Investment

Answers: What happens if I fail?

 

Having something to lose. This is about feeling a sense of ownership—deliberately creating risk or costs for losing to increase the perceived value of our efforts and prevent us from giving up too soon or too easily.

16 Elements - Act
Alignment
Staying on course

Alignment

Answers: Am I going the right direction?

 

Constant course correction. This is about making sure the path you’re on is the right path, identifying any adjustments that might need to be made, and getting back on track so that answer is always an absolute “YES!”

Achieve

Achieve-Cover

So often we start strong, fueled by purpose and energy and the novelty of a new objective, only to eventually lose steam. At this point we stall and our energy to move forward fades. If you’re not finding the reward in your work, or want to ensure you do, then the Achieve Pillar is for you. 

This series will help you find the long-term motivation to move forward. It’s designed around the most well-known extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. It’s about having an impact, seeing that impact, and finding it meaningful. 

It’s about feeling growth and personal progress. It’s about getting value for your work, all while maintaining balance and renewal.

The Achieve Pillar will answer the question “is it worth it?” 

It’ll help ensure get the rewards and recognition, the outcomes and impacts you need to fuel long-term engagement.

16 Elements - Achieve
Impact
Making a difference and moving the needle

Impact

Answers: Am I making a difference?

 

Making a difference and caring about the difference you make. This is about having an impact, understanding that impact, caring about that impact, and finding meaning and fulfillment from that impact.

16 Elements - Achieve
Growth
Personal development and mastery

Growth

Answers: What am I becoming?

 

Moving forward personally or professionally. This is about feeling like you’re getting better, progressing as an individual, building competency and capabilities, and being motivated by that growth. It’s being happy about the person you’re becoming.

16 Elements - Achieve
Value
Rewards and recognition

Value

Answers: What’s in this for me?

 

Being rewarded for your efforts. This is about making sure you’re receiving rewards and recognition for the things you do so you have ample incentive and motivation to keep doing them.

16 Elements - Achieve
Renewal
Balance and restoration

Renewal

Answers: When is enough enough?

 

Restoration through balance and perspective. This is about finding restoration and renewal to prevent failures that come from burnout. It’s about not jeopardizing other important things along the way.

WELCOME BACK

LET'S CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY!

Life Engineering is a company dedicated to powering human achievement for individuals, leaders, and organizations

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