It is generally believed that the average person uses only about 10% of their potential. That is to say that the average person could be ten times more productive and successful than they currently are. Studies done at Stanford University Brain Institute are even less flattering. They claim that the average person only uses about 2% of their full potential. No matter which figure you agree with, it is clear that we perform far below what we are capable of. According to Abraham Maslow we are consistently “selling ourselves short.” We concoct all kinds of reasons to rationalize and justify our poor performance and lack of success, ignoring the fact that we all have the ability to develop far beyond anything we have achieved so far. Brian Tracy noted that “The potential of an average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.”
Clarify Your Vision
Start developing a long term vision of yourself. Jump forward five or ten years into the future and see yourself fully developed in every important area of your life. What would it look like? To what level would you have developed your skills and abilities in your chosen field? What kind of success and recognition would you be enjoying because of the excellent work you do? How would you feel about yourself once you are one of the most recognized people within your area of expertise?
Once you have crafted your vision, start shaping it into specific actionable goals. Write down at least ten goals you would like to achieve personally and professionally in the area of personal development. From that list, determine the one goal that would make the biggest impact on your life and start working out a schedule, with firm timelines and benchmarks for achieving it. Don’t delay. Start working on your plan immediately and ensure that you have tangible ways to measure your progress towards your goal of self-improvement. Perhaps the measurement is in terms of the number of books you read per month or even the number of appointments or sales you’ve made because of your increasing skill set.
Develop Winning Habits
Without question, the habits that you have adopted in the past are largely responsible for your skill set, level of performance and ultimately the success that you enjoy today. To be all that you can be, you must develop new winning habits. Perhaps the single most important habit you can develop is self-discipline, which has been described as the “ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
Shun the tendency to think that others are more capable than you. Remember that what others have done, within reason, you can do too. Conversely, resist the temptation to not play full out because you are afraid to show up others. Author and lecturer Marianne Williamson reminds us that “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine.”
Keep On Pushing!