Reaching Your Potential: Are You Holding Yourself Back?

Inspired by the people who are truly living awesome lives and radically traveling (a big dream of mine) while doing so, like Colin Wright, Tim Ferriss, Cody McKibben, and Jonny Gibaud, I sat down a couple nights ago with a cup of tea and asked myself a couple of questions: “What would I like to have done by the time I”m 25 years old? How high is my potential?” So, I made a list of things that I would like to do or have by the time I”ve turned 25. Here it is:
  • Read tons of books (if given a number, I”d say over 300 for leisure alone, not counting school-issued books)
  • Been to 25 different countries – drawing from every continent except for Antarctica. Must-sees: Italy, The UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand. The others are up to you.
  • Have a distinct circle of friends who you talk to every other day. The metric for determining whether you have this: ask yourself, “What would you do if they died today?” – your answer determines whether you”d consider them close enough. Invite them out to long dinners every week.
  • Continued to play hockey and have tried skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, rock climbing, and caving
  • Have a BMI of about 25 – all muscle, though. Body fat% < 10%
  • Runs a successful writing business and possesses a strong personal brand. Writes on: creativity, leadership, risk-taking, and improving life in general.
  • Has up-to-date tech tools; laptop, phone, and reader are all state-of-the-art and ultra portable. Has a stable of mobile gadgets that includes headphones, mp3 player, hard drive, tablet (kindle usability other apps), and so on.
  • Has learned/self-taught a martial art.
  • Has flown to major blogging/tech conferences; relationships with major influencers and can say that I am one myself
Ambitious, no? However, they”re really, when you break them down, all examples of me reaching my potential. Reading books will ensure I”m reaching towards maximizing my knowledge. Having adventures around the globe ensures that I”m maximizing my adaptability and having tons of fun in life. Skydiving, rock climbing, playing hockey, the goal of a BMI of 25 (which ensures I”ll have plenty of muscle), and my goal to teach myself or learn a martial art all ensure that I”m reaching my peak physically… And so on. Setting goals like this helps you craft your vision of what you look like when you reach your potential. Once you”ve got the vision, if you want it bad enough, you will do whatever it takes to make it a reality.

What Your Potential Is

The great thing about us, as human beings, is this: our potential is infinite. I”ve covered this idea in other posts before this one, but I think it needs to be reiterated. This is so cool because I”ve always been obsessed with finding what brings the most improvement and doing it relentlessly, over and over again. I”m obsessed with improvement in every facet of our lives (that”s why I write here!) because I want to push the limits of our existence. I want to get the most I can out of life, and trying to improve, every single day, is what I do. I want to get as close to “infinity” as possible, if that makes sense. However, unless you actually have a clear vision of what your potential looks like, you”ll never get there. That”s why, even though I”m not the biggest fan of obsessive goal tracking, I made the list above. It helps refine things and set up what I really want to do in life; making that list helped me get the essentials. They”re not goals, to me – they”re a dream that I will work to realize. Most of those goals aren”t particularly realistic. 300 books? With the schedule I”m going to have over the next few years? Seems impossible. But it”s not. I”ll get there. Going to 25 different countries is another thing – especially if I hit up all of the essentials, which would take at least 5 separate continental trips if I did it that way, or a round-the-world ticket. Either way, that goal will be very difficult to realize. The only one I absolutely know I”ll be able to accomplish is my tech tool one, because consumption is easy and I”ll need it for my business. Everything else… Difficult to uphold. But that”s exactly why I”m in this game. To accomplish the impossible – or at least, the extremely unrealistic. And, the cool thing is, as long as I”m working on reaching my potential, I”ll get there. I”ll accomplish mobile casino these goals in one way or another. There”s much less competition at the top. While everyone else is trying to do well enough to get by, if you focus on being totally outstanding and maximizing your potential, you”ll find that not many people will be able to compete with you. You”ll put yourself on a totally higher level – in all facets of your life. And that”s what you should focus on, too. Achieving your dreams as a byproduct of reaching your potential. That is, the more you work on yourself and strive to be your best self in a variety of areas, you will improve to the point where making your dreams happen will be a reality.

Limits On Your Power

The ability to reach your potential comes with a price: you”ll have to sacrifice some things in order to get there. Let”s face it: there are tons of distractions in the world – things that will prevent you from reaching your potential. Sometimes, if you want to reach your potential bad enough, you”re going to have to give up the things that will prevent you from getting there. If you want to reach your physical potential, you”re going to have to replace the cheesecake with a salad. If you”re dead tired after a long week, you might have to stay in one night to sleep rather than hit the clubs with friends. If you want to reach your intellectual potential, you might want to watch TED talks or read books instead of watching TV. I”m not saying that you shouldn”t have time to unwind, but if you can ruthlessly prioritize things so that you are constantly trying to reach your potential, then you”re in very good stead – and, to be honest, I need to work on this as well. For example, if you need time to unwind after a long day of work and reading, then use that time to have a long dinner with friends and enjoy some conversation and fun. That way, you”re building relationships. Building great relationships is part of reaching your potential as a human being, so it”s not like you”re wasting your time in that way. Doing nothing, like daydreaming or meditating, in and of itself isn”t damaging to the quest of reaching your potential. It can help you recover energy when you feel spent. The big things to look out for are the ones that drain your energy or lower your capability to reach your potential. Those are the things that you have to eliminate from your path if you want to reach your potential. There”s a cool anecdote about the distractions that may knock you off your path in the book Mind Gym by Gary Mack and David Casstevens: “As a teenager, basketball star Kevin Johnson went to the gym every evening to practice. One evening the janitor said to him, “Kevin, it”s Saturday night. Why aren”t you out at parties, like everybody else?” “Parties,” Johnson replied, “won”t take me where I want to go.”” The distractions in your life won”t take you where you want to go. Avoid them. Instead, reach toward your vision of what your highest potential looks like, and make it happen. What does your potential look like? How will you make it happen?

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