Take The Time To Shine

What is your potential? Limitless. In a paper that I am writing, I propose that because human beings who have been significantly influential (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Clinton, etc.) are composed of the same biological material that “normal” human beings are, we have the same capability as them.

I have developed a new psychological theoretical construct called Shining. Shining is described by overt (observable) and covert (non-observable e.g. thinking) behaviors and having the understanding you can do anything, so you are the only one that is holding you back from achieving your goals.

A person who performs high Shining behaviors, or Shines, will understand their potential affect in (and on) the world and believes that he or she can have a significant one if he or she so desired. The reader should understand Shining as a collection of overt and covert behaviors, and when it is described, it should be explained in the context of behavioral psychology. It would behoove the reader to look at Shining in individuals on a spectrum; a human can exhibit high Shining covert and overt behaviors or low Shining covert and overt behaviors.

How does one Shine? It is simple: Look at those people who are influential and have left their mark on the world. Those people who we put on a pedestal cause us to think that we could not achieve feats as glorious as theirs. Everyone can perform their own high Shining behaviors to propel themselves to greatness, so the question I propose in my paper is the following: Why don’t we?

​I desire testing this theory by way of psychological experiment as any psychology major or scientist would. I want to see what elicits high Shining behaviors in humans, and if there is a moment in a person’s life when they “Shine brightest.” Our university has a plethora of students who strive for success, and it was not until they grasped for what they truly wanted, even when they believed it was out of their reach, that they Shined bright enough to achieve unimaginable goals.

For example, one of my friends, Naveed Ahmed ‘12, plans to run for a political position in Stockton. Since Ahmed has embarked on this journey, he has met many people in office, and I hope to see his name on the ballot in the future. Another friend of mine started a fashion blog that he poured his heart and soul into. He achieved many accolades, and he is now pursuing his dream in San Francisco.

​My hypothesis is that there is an antecedent before people exhibit high Shining behaviors at a steady rate. Is there a mean age this occurs at? Are there any cultural variations? Does a person’s socioeconomic status play a role? Do people that exhibit more high Shining behaviors ask more questions? What are their behaviors? How does the theory of learned helplessness affect high and low Shiners? All of these are but a few questions we need to ask about Shining in order to understand it best.

​The idea of Shining is in no way a new belief: There is an overabundance of talk about this in many different mediums. In music, you can hear it everywhere: “I Believe I Can Fly,” “This Little Light Of Mine,” “Spread Your Wings” by Queen, “The World Is Yours” by Nas and countless others. I’m sure some songs come to your mind as you mentally sift through this kind of music.

​If you do not agree with this theory, then I suggest you test it for yourself. One of the best ways to test it is to try it out for yourself. Attempt to exhibit high Shining behaviors in your everyday life, and record what happens. You might be surprised. René Descartes proclaimed, “Cogito ergo sum,” or “I think, therefore I am.”

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Jared Van

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