Mental Space Monday: The one junior high math concept that teaches us how to be successful

Hello you fabulous human beings, you! And welcome back to another

Mental Space Monday!

This is our weekly opportunity to inspect some of the things that make being alive so seriously awesome - to make enlightening connections that give new perspective.

Ok, in continuing with last week's nerdy theme, I have a confession to make.

I was a mathlete. Yup. That means I competed in mathematics competitions. I will wait while the laughter dies down........come on, math is cool - you'll see.

Today we are going back to the one junior high geometry concept that can make us all more successful in life; both daily and in the future - let me lay it out for you:

Remember our Mental Space Monday 2 weeks ago when we discussed the Golden Ratio? The famous mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci put this ratio to a series of numbers. Why is this important? First a little back story.

Mr. Fibonacci lived in the Middle Ages and brought us such fascinating, useful tools as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system. Think you don't care about this? This is basically our entire number system. Without this guy we would still be counting by X, C, M and I (10, 100, 1,000 and 1) and would be living in the year MMIV. Without him we couldn't calculate decimal numbers (think money, people). Now you are liking him a little more, yes?

Mr. F is even more famous for the introduction of his eponymous Fibonacci sequence to European mathematics. Here's how it works:

Start with 1 and 1 (or 0 and 1, depending on who you talk to: same result). Now all we do is add them together:


Then we add the last number in the series to the new number we have just calculated:





So what? Well, this sequence describes the relationship of stuff all around us in the physical world. In addition to showing the ubiquitous ratios in the Golden Mean (as discussed), it gives us the number of leaves on the stem of a flower, the shape of an uncurling fern frond, describes a bee hive, the makeup of cells and even the anatomy of humans. (Remember da Vinci's Vitruvian Man?)

So if this applies to physical parts of nature ... why wouldn't it apply to thoughts, ideas and knowledge?

Here's the big reveal on how to be successful - Fibonacci style:

Take what you know, and build on it.

All you have to do is combine the knowledge you already have in order to create something greater - and then keep doing it!

We can see how powerful this principle is when we look at the Fibonacci sequence on a graph:

fibonacci1*click on graph for sourcing


W can see that the sequence gains speed at an impressive rate - just like ideas when we combine them together. There is something magical that happens when 1 thought is paired with 1 thought. There is a sequence that is put in motion that is so powerful it leads to infinity. Matt Ridley and Jason Silva call this "ideas having sex" and ideas are like rabbits - there is no containing their growth rate once you put them in the same pen.

So, in order to reach infinity: all you have to do is start with 1. You already have what you need in addition to a few thousand years of geometry, biology, mathematics and smarty-pants like Mr. F to back you up. Start with 1 thing that you know; 1 thing you are good at, and build from there. Once the momentum has begun, simply use what you already have to move forward, gain ground and achieve infinity.

You can do it!

Thanks so much for joining us and sticking through the math review. Don't forget to enter your email below, let's use this Fibonacci lesson to get your 1 idea and my 1 idea together for dinner and we can see where the evening takes us ...

If you liked it, invite friends and share on social media to keep the conversation going community is infinite as well.


*BONUS* Awesome links regarding Mr. F: