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6 Steps to Understanding Your Potential and Achieving More

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6 Steps to Understanding Your Potential and Achieving More

Whether you’re applying to a college, choosing a career path, or going through a midlife crisis, the big question is, “What are you capable of doing?” This world may have fed you with unrealistic expectations from the beginning, and it may be keeping you from understanding your potential.

We’re all told there’s some hidden talent deep within us that will be our saving grace one day. More often than not, though, you’re only wasting your time in finding your ‘talent’ instead of spending that energy to build your potential.

If you can understand your potential, success will be knocking at your doorstep. Let’s dig in to find out the not-so-hidden secret tips that will help you create your own empire of success!

What Is Personal Potential?

Before understanding your potential, you need to know first what personal potential really means. There’s a high chance that you have the wrong definition in mind, but that’s not your fault because it’s how most of us think of it.

People generally tell you that you’re naturally gifted with personal potential. Your true potential is supposed to be an activity that you can do amazingly with minimal effort. With this perspective, you’re always in search of a hobby that you think you’re good at. You keep looking for this unknown nature’s gift.

What you don’t know is that personal potential has more to do with your mental strength than your so-called gifts. It is anything that you wish to be. Hence, even if others say that your fashion sense is terrible all your life, you can still end up being a successful fashion icon.

What you need is willpower. With your courage and a firm intention, you can achieve whatever personal potential you want.

Potential and talent are not the type that you need to wait for before they come to you. They are qualities that you build within yourself with hard and smart work. There’s no magic wand that brings out your inner potential except your own will.[1]

Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow another successful individual’s footsteps blindly. Yes, it’s always great to have some advice, but your potential and the path leading to it is probably way different.

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The key is to try understanding your potential instead of forcing something on yourself just because someone you know has managed to pull it off.

How to Find Your Potential

The personal potential is all about hard work and strategy. Here are six tips that will guide you on finding motivation and putting it to good use.

1. Identify Your Inner Voice

The first step towards success is to listen to yourself.[2] Bear in mind that you’re not looking for your potential here but only figuring out what you truly want in life.

Your potential is ultimately what you work for. Thus, it’s best to work for the things that you desire so that you enjoy the process.

Think of the things that you enjoy or would want to be good at. Do you aspire to be an artist, for instance? Would you love to be a theater actor, even though you’ve never acted on stage before?

Please make a list of your desired wishes and then downsize it realistically. It matters to keep your inner voice in mind while doing so. Don’t aim for things that may improve your image in society, bring you a lot of money, etc. Remember: your self-satisfaction needs to be a top priority.

Similarly, there’s a chance that you’re great at something but despise doing it. Say, people around you love your voice and are always ready to hear you sing. However, there’s a chance you hate it despite the elaborate appreciation. Things like this should also be noted down so you can recall that you want to stay away from them.

2. Make Conscious Efforts

Once you’ve planned a suitable final destination, it’s time to make an effort.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it: your personal potential will not come waltzing into your life. You have to work hard to get to it.

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Understanding your potential requires conscious efforts in the right direction. It won’t just click one day randomly; you have to work to find the answers.

You may start experimenting now. You know that you want to either have a law firm or own a restaurant. These are two very different career choices, so take small steps in one direction and figure out if this is something you’re willing to put your energy and time into.

As an example, since you can’t decide between being a chef or becoming a lawyer, you try the former first. Even after six months of showing consistent effort, though, you keep overcooking your food. When you ask your friends to taste it, they hardly ever give you positive feedback. Despite following the same recipe every time, your dishes taste different every time.

You’ve put in six months in this craft and tried hard enough to make a decent meal, but there’s no sign of improvement. Of course, you need to take it a sign that cooking is most likely not the right choice for you.

You can then work towards your other option. Discuss the situation with experienced lawyers, get internships, research about it online, and find out whether you’ve got what it takes to build a successful law firm.

3. Define Your Goals

SMART goals play an essential role in your life, especially when you want to accomplish something.[3]

Defining goals will help you stay on track to understand your potential.

At this point, you’ve already figured out which route to take. It’s now time to take systematic steps.

Assuming you know the SMART goals and how to devise them, you need to add some additional steps to the process.

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With every goal, define your intention. Please take note of whatever you think you’re aiming for and the reason behind it. For example, your intent behind joining an SEO training workshop is perhaps to improve your readership so that you can accomplish your passion for running a world-famous blog one day.

Next, write down the value. What will this particular workshop do for you that you cannot gain from other similar sources? In the example above, the workshop may be facilitated by a person you’ve always been inspired by or is mainly for the niche that you prefer.

Lastly, think about the cost. Whatever input you have to give for achieving the value and fulfilling your intent, bring it to the table at this point. While you shouldn’t be working at a loss, you must be able to generate at least the same amount of money by implementing what you have learned, primarily if you’re paying $50 for a workshop.

4. Set Milestones

One mistake that a lot of people make in hopes of understanding their potential is aiming for the stars in the first go. They set their mind on the bigger picture and directly go for it.

That’s not how you get successful. As mentioned above, it’s the baby steps that take you to your destination. Yes, it may extend the timeframe of the entire journey, but it also increases the chances of having a practical outcome with minimal hurdles.

When you set milestones, try to break down the long-term process into smaller segments. So, if you’re passionate about developing an advertising agency, don’t put your focus on the final picture alone.

For your first milestone, therefore, you can enroll in a media school where you can learn all the basics of advertising. After that, you may work for an agency to familiarize yourself with their process. Then, get in touch with a local videographer to create an ad for a relative’s business.

Step by step, you pave the way to your big goal. You can work on the weekly or monthly milestones that may end up contributing to the bigger picture when you divide the workload.

5. Accept Failures

Bear in mind that you’re only getting started. Even though this is your passion, you can’t possibly be perfect at it immediately.

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Failures and inconveniences are part of every success story. It’s alright to have some unexpected issues here and there. Don’t let them demotivate you.

Failing does not mean that you have to shift your path. It only means you’re learning more, and that will eventually help you grow beyond limits.

6. Celebrate Your Successes

It is also vital to be very appreciative of yourself. It will keep your spirits high throughout the minor mishaps.

The secret is to celebrate the little successes. Every time you accomplish a milestone, pat yourself on the back.

Track your little achievements so that you can remember them every time you feel down and need encouragement.

Bottom Line

Understanding your potential and unleashing your inner voice isn’t that hard. It requires strong willpower, patience, and baby steps in the right direction.

Unfortunately, this fast-paced world has made life so complicated that the more straightforward things like finding your potential seem almost impossible. If you’re strong enough to keep things simple in this chaotic world, then you’re on the path to success!

More on How To Know Your Potential

Featured photo credit: Jeswin Thomas via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Growurpotential: Talent Is The Product of Hard Work
[2] Harvard Business Review: Reaching Your Potential
[3] Mind Tools: SMART Goals

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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An Inspiring Interview with Steve White, President, Special Counsel to the CEO of Comcast

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An Inspiring Interview with Steve White,  President, Special Counsel to the CEO of Comcast

Do you let circumstances define who you are, or do you take charge of your life no matter how challenging it is?

I have the pleasure to interview Steve White, president, special counsel to the CEO of Comcast Cable. He works with executives on a number of important initiatives, including leadership development, strategic planning, diversity, equality, and inclusion (DE&I) and digital equality. As President of Comcast’s West Devision, he has led nearly thirty thousand employees, served almost ten million customers, and driven annual revenue nearly $18 billion.

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    Steve started working as a young boy, helping his single mother clean motel rooms. He knew his mom was more capable than what she was doing, and he wondered what she and his three brothers could do if they had means and opportunities.

    Those early years taught Steve that an unwavering work ethic and commitment attracts opportunities that lead to an impactful life. His mother was living proof. If not for her determination to raise her four boys, Steve might never have gone through some of the life-changing moments.

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    Steve developed an uncompromising mindset since he was young and now still apply the same will to keep his purpose front and center. That purpose is to create a table of prosperity that everyone can participate and enjoy.

    Let’s dive right into our interview conversaion and learn about Steve’s inspiring story and winning philosophy:

    1. In a nutshell, what made you decide to transition professionally to writing, speaking and inspiring others?

    Steve:

    I was inspired by a quote that’s often attributed to Mark Twain. “The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you find out why.” Through hardship, I was able to answer the second question. The reason I was placed on this earth is to create a table of prosperity for others. Sharing my life lessons—the successes and failures—is in service of my why.

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    2. Is there something about helping people achieve personal and professional success that helped you discover something about yourself?

    Steve:

    Yes. We all want to be needed and counted on. I was the oldest of four boys raised by a single mother and she counted on me a great deal to assist, help and, in some cases, lead. I enjoyed and respected the responsibility. In some ways, I enjoyed receiving the approval of a job well done.

    3. How do you currently measure success?

    Steve:

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    I measure success in the following ways:

    • Family = laughter
    • Giving back = gratitude
    • Business = Are we improving every day? Are we focused on “the process” and not just the results? Did my employees’ W2s increase year over year?

    4. Have there been any surprises along the way? Perhaps something that didn’t quite work out as planned?

    Steve:

    I wanted to be a sportscaster. No regrets but you never say never.

    5. Tell us more about your Daily Wins newsletter?

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    Steve:

    Life is hard. The way you succeed in life is to focus on the process versus the outcome. As a result, you have to take each day as it comes and focus on being successful today so tomorrow will take care of itself. The Daily Wins provides that ongoing focus on the process. If you win today, tomorrow will take care of itself.

    6. Are there any leaders who continue to motivate and inspire you? How do you keep learning?

    Steve:

    The two most important women in my life: My Wife and My Mother. My joyful nine-year-old son and all leaders who overcome adversity inspire me. I keep learning by surrounding myself with successful people and accountability coaches who push me through love, support, and tough questions.

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    I hope you enjoy my interview with Steve and are inspired by Steve’s story!

    If you want to know more about Steve, check out his website and his book Uncompromising: How an Unwavering Commitment to Your Why Leads to an Impactful Life and a Lasting Legacy.

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