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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

6 Steps to Understanding Your Potential and Achieving More

6 Steps to Understanding Your Potential and Achieving More
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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

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion

What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion
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I like to use the word passion interchangeably with words like determination, conviction, and love. Passion is a strong desire that can get you to do amazing things.

Passion is an emotion to be acted upon. Without action, passion yields no worthwhile results. Passion is the fuel in the fire of action. When you have passion for something, you love it even when you hate it.

So what is passion? How do you recognize your passion, and how do you put it to good use?

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What Is Passion?

A desire fueled by passion will bring about the greatest results in life.

I like to skateboard, but I don’t have the determination to push myself through broken bones and hospital visits. That’s why I’m not as good as I could be. I don’t have a passion for it.

Passion can push you through difficult times because you don’t care what it takes to become better. We all have the ability to create whatever kind of life we want. The secret to living the dream is hidden in our passions and what we do because of them.

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How to Know What You’re Passionate About?

Finding what you are passionate about is a journey in itself. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t feel like you know yet. Keep trying new things. It will come even if you have to build it. If you find your passion, or find yourself hot on its trail, don’t give it up.

What if you know what you have a passion for but you don’t do anything about it? This is the main problem with passion. You can have all the passion in the world for something but if you never do anything about it, that passion is useless.

Maybe you work a good job that pays all the bills but it doesn’t allow you to truly follow your passion. You’re afraid of what will happen if you change things up. Yes, change is scary, but it’s not until we leave our comfort zone that we find what we’ve been missing out on.

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You’re the author of your life. Don’t settle for the bare minimum just because it’s working out right now.

You will never know what you’re truly capable of unless you push yourself.

But even when you pursue your passion, you will find yourself tripped up by failures and other obstacles. You can’t let that get to you. It happens to everyone on the path of following their passion. Abe Lincoln had a strong passion for building a great country. You think he let a few failures stop him from that? Don’t let obstacles get you down.

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What About Passion for People?

The idea of passion also applies to people. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking you love someone and not doing anything about it. Ask yourself, is giving up my pride worth it to maintain a relationship? What about being unselfish and sacrificing your time or comfort? If you can’t do that, it’s probably not real love, or you need to start making changes.

Often, I think we need to remind ourselves who we love and act accordingly. It’s easy to let family relationships weaken because of pride. Of course, you say you love your family, but when your brother is in the school play, and you hate plays, do you go?

The same applies to intimate relationships. Do you only love them when it’s easy? Real love takes sacrifice and work. You push through the difficult times because you love them and you understand that every passion pursued will have bumps in the road. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand what it means to have passion for someone. This is why divorce rates are so high and families are often torn apart by hurt feelings and unnecessary drama.

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Following any passion takes vulnerability and work. But I promise in the end, the outcome of such efforts will be the most fulfilling to your life.

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Featured photo credit: Randalyn Hill via unsplash.com

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