I firmly believe that every single person has the potential to achieve extraordinary things if they take time to discover, acknowledge and honor their potential. I have the wonderful privilege to work with human potential. My work takes me into various organisations across the globe where I advise on productivity within. Productivity is directly linked to actualization of human potential. The main purpose of my work is to assist people to discover their own potential and to develop behaviors that will release their unique magic in order for them to be successful in whatever they want to achieve.
So, what is human potential? Human potential is the possibilities human beings are capable of accomplishing.
When engaging with people through my workshops or coaching sessions I usually have to remind them that all of us were given the gift of human potential. Within each and every one of us lies the potential of possibility. All of us have the promise of success within us. All of us have the potential for greatness.
I often share an old Sioux Indian legend with my delegates to bring this awareness into reality:
“In ancient times the Creator wanted to hide something from the humans until they were ready to see it. He gathered all the other creatures of creation to ask for their advice.
The eagle said: “Give it to me and I will take it to the highest mountain in all the land,” but the Creator said, “No, one day they will conquer the mountain and find it.”
The salmon said, “Leave it with me and I will hide it at the bottom of the ocean,” but the Creator said, “No, for humans are explorers at heart, and one day they will go there, too.”
The buffalo said,” I will take it and bury it in the very heart of the great plains,” but the Creator said,” No, for one day even the skin of the earth will be ripped open, and they will find it there.”
The creatures of creation were stumped, but then an old blind mole spoke up. “Why don’t you put it inside them – that’s the very last place they’ll look.” The Creator said, “It is done.”
The last place that human beings search for their potential is within themselves. They often search in all the wrong places and are so focused on the external life that they forget to look within themselves for the gift that was hidden within.
In our quest to discover our potential I often advise people to not indulge in the following behaviors, as it leads to the death of possibility:
Excuses: We all make them, every day. Sometimes we’re not even aware that we make them. They’ve become a part of our lifestyle. Every person in the whole world has the exact same number of hours in a week as you. So how are you spending yours? Excuses are self-made obstacles that stop you from reaching your full potential.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you ever looked at someone really successful and thought, “Wow, I’d love to have what he/she has!” Not just the material things, but also the motivation, ambition, work ethic, success, career? Has the following then entered your mind?
“They must be really lucky”; “They must be really intelligent”; “They must have been at the right place at the right time”; “They must be mad, obsessive control freaks that sacrificed a lot and stepped on others to get to the top.”
If the answer to any of these is yes, then I’m afraid to inform you that you are one of these people who let excuses lead their lives, and in doing so, you run the risk of never reaching your full potential and never being successful.
Fear: “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s natural to be scared or apprehensive about a new stage in your life. What are you afraid of? Trying and not succeeding? Wouldn’t you say that
“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.” Robert H. Schuller
Doubt: “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” Christian D. Larson
If you constantly doubt your talents, your skills or your abilities, you will never know what you are actually capable of. You will never discover your full potential.
You really need to believe in yourself. Self-confidence is a characteristic that I believe people are drawn to; it can be one of the most endearing qualities about someone. If you really don’t think you have the skill set you need, brush up on them!
As soon as you start to believe in yourself and your abilities, you’ll be amazed at how many doors will open for you and how many opportunities you will now want to seize because you know you can.
People who have discovered the gift of their own potential are the most spontaneous and creative in their lives, because they feel self-actualized.
“Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.” Samuel Butler
They can handle unexpected happenings easier than others, they have a thankful attitude about what life has to offer them, they are able to have meaningful relationships, and has a concern for people around them. Discovering and reaching one’s potential is the ultimate expression of a person’s existence.
Practicing certain behaviors will bring an individual to full discovery and self-actualization. Here are a few I would like to share with you:
1. Keep the wonder, curiosity and inquisitive nature of a child.
2. Be willing to attempt new activities with an open mind.
3. Stay honest even when unpopular when you disagree with those you come in contact with daily. Work diligently and intelligently at all your tasks or duties.
4. Discover the person you are, all that is important in your life, and what you desire of life.
5. Do not shy away from new challenges and experiences.
6. Always be accountable for your actions and life.
“The important thing is this: to be ready at any moment to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.” Charles Dickens
Maximizing your potential is about doing things you never knew you could do and reaching heights that you can only dream about. It’s about pushing yourself to become a better and stronger person. When you break down your limits and barriers, you stop holding yourself back and do more than you thought possible.
As Thomas Edison once said, “If we did all the things, we were capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
My challenge to you today is: “What are you waiting for? Go, discover your potential, your own magic and astound yourself!