Are You Using Every Ounce of Your Potential?

All of us harbor the potential to do amazing things. Case in point: in the space of five minutes or less, you could encounter an emergency situation and react so bravely that you become a "hero". That potential lies within you; what you lack is the trigger to make it emerge.


You probably have not yet encountered whatever it is that will trigger you to rise to your highest possible level:


• The discovery of a skill that engages all your best talents

• A purpose so all-encompassing that it makes all other paths seem trivial

• Someone or something that inspires you to move far beyond what you saw as your limitations


Are you ready?


It may sound silly, but discovering your life's calling can be exhilarating, terrifying, or both.


Thinking about it, I'm reminded of an old Doonesbury cartoon in which the CEO is talking to the guy he just promoted. After the CEO goes on and on about how "we're either going to go down in flames or make it to the top of the mountain," the young guy asks, "Actually, sir, can I have my old job back?"


If you desire a safe and predictable career, be honest with yourself. Embrace that path with joy and enthusiasm.


Does it seem random that I'm including a steel drum performance here? Maybe not... think about how it must have felt to be part of a group that played together at such a high level... and that this experience was dependent on so many people coming together.


Don't complain about your "dull" job or "average" pay, if that's what you really want. Don't whine about being bored on the weekend if it never enters your consciousness to travel around the world, or build someone a new home, or simply host a series of social events.


But if you crave more, if you desire to explore your fullest potential, then recognize your path ahead will probably terrify you before you reach your full potential. It's all part of the ride.


Let's be realistic for a moment...


For the vast majority of readers, this article is not the trigger for a powerful change in your life. I don't get many letters that start, "Once I finished your article, Bruce, I immediately sold my home and car and started hiking towards the Arctic Circle."


But what might be your trigger?


Since you probably don't yet know the answer, I have a simple suggestion: that you start being more open and receptive to such a trigger. It may be near you already, but you've been ignoring - or minimizing - it.


Somewhere in the path that lies ahead of you, that trigger almost certainly exists. It may be an inspirational entrepreneur whose startup you join. It may be a dramatic life event. Or it may come from deep inside you.


One more question... near the end of your life, as you sit in a rocking chair on the porch and contemplate your time on Earth... will you know that you used every single ounce of your potential?

(This blog was first published on LinkedIn. It has been re-posted here with prior permission from Bruce Kasanoff.)

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Categories: Leadership

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Bruce Kasanoff

Bruce Kasanoff helps companies empower and inspire their employees. He brings relentlessly positive messages of personal empowerment, flexibility and clarity. ...

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