Take a moment to consider what your human potential is right now and how deeply are you aware of it?
Potential – Capable of being but not yet in existence
The human potential movement began in the 1960’s and and formed around the concept of cultivating extraordinary potential that its advocates believed to lie largely untapped in all people.
You, my friend have the potential to create almost any kind of life you choose and we’re going to reflect a bit on the what you’ve created up till this point and what you can do to assess it for improvement.
- How does it make you feel knowing you’ve created your current life?
- How does it feel knowing you’ve actually caused the life you have right now through your thoughts, actions and words you’ve chosen?
Being the cause puts you in a place of responsibility rather than being the effected and being out of control.
This could be one of the most powerful concepts you read if you’re remain willing and open to it. When you do, you can begin to make a conscious impact on those in your family, your circle of friends, your community, your country and even all of mankind.
Sound like bullshit or too out there?
My goal is that by the time you go through this entire post you’re not only aware of when you’re comparing yourself to others but that you won’t feel the need to because you’re too focused on living your own truth.
Comparison Kills Human Potential
That’s the comparison killer popping up inside. It’s killing your personal growth and stunting your human potential.
Comparison– A statement or estimate of similarities and differences
I’m down with a healthy dose of skepticism myself, like when it comes to certain areas such as business and relationships. However our human potential, in my humble opinion, shouldn’t be one of those areas where we’re skeptical.
It’s just a matter of focusing on our strengths and managing our weaknesses.
Never before have you and I had the opportunity to have our message go out into the world than right now. With social media, mobile and the overall internet we have a global audience. Out there somewhere are people who need your strength and your message.
If you’ve ever found yourself immobilized with fear, frustration or procrastination, in many cases somewhere in the mix you’ll find the dreaded potential killer known as comparison. It likes to strangle your human potential and force you into self doubt.
Comparing ourselves to others is a deep seeded need in order to feel as if we fit in so it isn’t something that I can just say stop doing. We all do it at times, some more than others. And when we do, it can cripple our human potential.
We make up all kinds of things like: “That other person is smarter, more talented, prettier etc. So I just shouldn’t even try.”
Human Potential Requires Challenge
The truth is everyone, no matter who, secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) deal with challenges behind the scenes.
And I mean everyone.
To reach our human potential we need challenges.
Personal growth is like lifting weights, you get stronger starting with actual resistance, not just reading.
When you lift weights, you encounter resistance were you actually tear tiny microscopic fibers in your muscles. With rest, proper nutrition and sufficient hydration those fibers rebuild themselves even bigger than before to prepare for that same amount of resistance. That’s muscle growth.
You see the key isn’t to run or hide from challenges but to learn to embrace them so you can grow from them. Sometimes we get broken down to be built back up and become wiser and stronger because of it.
In our western culture keeping our problems under wraps and out of the public eye so that everything seems peachy, seems to be the norm. Therefore you may not hear about what others are going through and how the made it out.
That’s when you begin to think something is wrong with you. You begin compare yourself to what you see on the surface around you.
“Comparison is the killer of human potential but measurement can be an agent of change.”
What Get’s Measured Gets Attention
The difference between someone who reaches their potential and those who don’t can be summed up in one word.
You can choose to show up to the game of life playing with your strengths or trying to win with your weaknesses.
Which one do you think makes more sense?
The key is to bring this stuff to the surface so you can examine what changes feel right and are the best for you so you can tap into your human potential.
When you’re playing to your strengths comparison won’t hold the same power as it did before. You won’t have enough time to focus on comparison because you’re enjoying what you do too much.
In order to reach your human potential it’s a good idea to take an inventory of where you are right now so you can begin to discover your natural strengths.
“A strength is a talent completed with skills and knowledge. Skills and knowledge can be learned relatively easily, a talent can not.“- Rich Schefren
Before we talk about your talents a few things have to happen first:
- Take an honest assessment of where you are currently
- Take note of how you got there (so you can either do more of what works or less of what doesn’t)
- Discover your strengths
- Decide where you are going (and how best to apply your strengths)
- Plan out how you are going to get there (game plan)
So let’s begin Points 1 and 2.
Taking An Honest Assessment Of Where You Are
I’ve quoted many times as said by by Nathanial Brandon, “You can’t cope with what you don’t acknowledge.”
One of the best ways to create change and begin to be in alignment is to honestly assess where you are right now.
Just look at where you are and don’t deny what’s really happening around you and within you.
“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” -Confucius
Lots of us are good at fooling ourselves as to why we’re not where we want to be in life. I know I have been.
I’ve been a pro at pointing fingers before.
An example would be that we like to believe we’re that same person who had some sort of success in our past, and we like to believe we’re still that person.
Except that it was maybe 8 years ago. What about all that time in between that’s lead up to today that we’ve rested on that past self image?
It reminds me of a quote from a movie:
“It’s not what lies beneath, but what we do that defines us.”
So the first step to designing a life is to be willing. Be willing to take an honest evaluation about where you are in life right now.
“Willingness is the gateway to higher states of consciousness. It’s a quality of the heart not the mind.”
How Did You Get Here
Figuring out how you got to where you are in your life could be tricky. Rest assured you don’t have to spend a lot of time here but I’ve felt it necessary in order to change habits, thoughts or to acknowledge feelings that have kept me stuck and bottle necked. Not to mention I’m able to figure out what I do well and not so well, so that I can do more of what I’m great at.
How you got here (where ever that is right now) can be based on how you have thought, what you have felt and what habits you’ve practiced.
You got here based on your ability or inability to calculate the long term outcomes of your immediate decisions around your faith, family, fitness and finances.
For example, we make decisions every day like what to eat, how much to eat and where to eat based on our ability to calculate the effects that decision will have on our body long term.
Do you eat for immediate gratification or do you eat for energy & vitality?
Only you know the answer right now but I can tell you I’ve had the little voice pop up that says, “But it’s expensive to eat healthy and organic.”
What is it’s cost you in the long term not to? Price vs Cost always makes sense when weighed out and honestly evaluated.
Another example: Because I’m hypoglycemic I figured the price is spending an extra $50 a week in groceries and pre-planning my meals in advance as apposed to the cost which is less energy to pursue my dreams, possible diabetes and in the long term costly medications and health insurance. Not to mention my overall quality of life would suck.
When I think in advance this way, I feel more able to make decisions in the present moment that are in alignment with my long term desired outcomes.
Is it perfect and does it work every time?
No, but I get better results this way than from floating around haphazardly.
When we’re in alignment with our own personal truth, living it and focused on our own decisions that contribute to it, comparison doesn’t become as necessary in our lives.
In the 3rd and final installment I’ll cover 3 more areas.
- One is an exercise that can have a major impact on deciding where you’re going with your health, finances, relationships and overall direction in life.
- Second is your strengths and how you discover them. Once you do, you begin to feel anchored into your daily choices because it just feels good doing it. It feels natural.
- And Third we’ll touch on some tools to help you plan how you’ll get to your desired outcomes in specific areas of your life.
Again our goal here is to shed light on the components that allow us to tap into our human potential.
Decide Where You’re Going
There’s a certain satisfaction and confidence that surrounds knowing where you’re headed in life.
- Have you identified your gifts and talents?
- Do you know what activities you lend yourself to that help you feel the most alive?
- Are you practicing what you do best everyday
- Have you acknowledged your weaknesses and managing them?
One way to decide where you’re going is to weigh the costs vs the benefits around your current habits, thoughts and feelings. Consider this the proverbial fork in the road of life.
This one exercise can help you:
- See yourself in more control of your decisions day in and day out
- Help you acknowledge the importance of discovering your contribution to the world
- Assists you in discovering the sense of urgency and how quickly you begin to act on it
You can finish these sentences to help come to a conclusion around the costs of your current beliefs:
- If I continue to eat the way I’m eating it will cost me…
- If I continue to spend money the way I am it will cost me…
- If I continue to think of myself as non deserving of success it will cost me…
You can finish these sentences to help you get clear on the benefits around new beliefs:
- When I change the way I eat currently to eating healthy consistently I will gain…
- When I get control of my spending habits I will gain…
- When I begin to think of myself as more deserving I stand to gain…
This is just a small snapshot as to how you you can begin to explore your current perceptions around health, money and relationships and identify how to make a shift in the areas of your life that are most important.
It can be as simple as identifying the costs vs the benefits around your immediate decisions.
Then you can tell if you’re in alignment with where you say you want to go and what you’re actually doing.
Planning How You Will Get There
Planning how to live a fulfilling life is a lot like building a business:
- You discover a natural strength, talent, or ability you have and that you love to do
- Discover what problems it can help people solve or lend itself to
- You design your business around the delivery of that natural talent or ability
- You position this solution in a unique way that is attractive to your audience
I’m of course paraphrasing here. A lot. The point is to put effort into the design of your life. Yes it’s work, but relative to what?
“Genius is the ability to put into effect what is on your mind.”– F. Scott Fitzgerald
You are genius in your own right. As long as you’re not comparing yourself to others, you’ll discover it.
“You can’t experience the feeling of satisfaction around sliding into home if you don’t step ever step up to it and swing at the ball to begin with.” -Swing away today
Leave your comments or questions below.