Mandatory Optionals

By David Geller   |   May 5, 2014

In my opinion, the happiest place on earth is not Disney World. It is URJ Camp Coleman in the north Georgia mountains. Camp Coleman is a place where kids are encouraged to discover their talents and passions while forging close friendships in a supportive community.

My favorite time at Camp Coleman is Saturday when the campers participate in “Mandatory Optionals.”  What in the world are Mandatory Optionals?  Mandatory Optionals are when the campers can do any activity they want; they just can’t sit in their cabins doing nothing. They must participate in community activities.

The director and staff of Camp Coleman understand a fundamental truth. We grow, learn, and discover when we are part of a vibrant supportive community. Healthy communities, however, require rules and norms that let each member know what is expected of them and what they can expect from the community. At Camp Coleman, you can’t have a vibrant community where each child discovers his or her passion if half the kids are napping in their cabins. Hence, we have Mandatory Optionals.

Are you part of a vibrant supportive community that encourages you to grow, learn and thrive?  If not, what is holding you back?  Are you scared about committing to your community’s rules and norms or to your community’s Mandatory Optionals?

About the Author

CEO David Geller co-founded the firm in 1991 and led the creation of Behavioral Wealth Management. Recognized on numerous prestigious "top financial advisor" lists, David is an in-demand speaker for professional groups and JOYN workshops. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post.

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