Living Up To Your Potential

3-part series: part1, part2 and part 3.

Living Up To Your PotentialOK. You have decided what your ultimate goal is. Make sure it is a defined goal, not just a generalization like, “Someday I want to be famous.” That just won’t cut it.

You need to define exactly what you want to do. Set your time frame. Know what you have to do to get there. You don’t need to know every little detail, but you do have to have the big picture and many of the details.

Research . . .

If you have a goal in mind but don’t know what it takes to reach it, then you need to find out. Do some reading, talk to people who know, ask questions and listen to the answers. Think that sounds like a lot of work?

Well, remember what you are preparing for your success and happiness. Surely you want to put a little effort into that! Anyway, a little research into what it will take for you to reach your goals isn’t too difficult.

You will be focusing on your strengths, on your purpose, and on learning and doing. If you have chosen a goal that is right for you, focus on that goal and devote the necessary time.

It may take a bit of self discipline at first, but your determination and interest will carry you through until the focusing process becomes a habit. When you have a real desire to accomplish something, your ambition should only require an occasional shove…a nudge every now and then.

Visualization . . .

Get into the habit of visualizing your success. Now, sitting around and daydreaming in general isn’t what I mean. You need to visualize specifics.

To return to the basketball example, daydreaming about being carried off the court on your teammates’ shoulders is just daydreaming. (Although pretty cool)

Picturing in your mind how you will work a play if your opponent makes a particular move, picturing your exact response to it, is visualizing specifics. If you run through specific moves in your mind, you will be prepared when that need for those moves appear.

Never be afraid to use your imagination to visualize new and better ways of accomplishing things.

Creative Thinking . . .

Here in your mind, try doing things in different ways, outside of the usual. This is a creative process. You may have heard of creative thinking. Training yourself to think creatively is largely learning to let your imagination work on methods that are different from the “way things have always been done.”

It’s breaking away from the idea that a thing can be done effectively in only one way. It’s looking at a problem from all angles. Just play a game of “what if.” Ask yourself, “What if I did this thing this way?” It’s OK to get a little crazy sometimes. But, you must also spend some of your thinking time at specific visualizations of the moves you need to make to accomplish your goals.

Visualizations are important but actual physical practice of your skills is important also. Practice the boring little skills that are necessary as well as the skills that you enjoy. Don’t let yourself rely on just the things that come natural and easy to you. Develop your limited potentials as well as those that you feel are your blessings.

Work on developing the more general attributes that are important to almost any goal:

Success comes more easily to those who have a pleasing personality. This is not to say that you should bend over backwards to everyone’s wishes. Rather, develop an attitude that is respectful of other’s opinions but true to your own beliefs.

Be flexible don’t be so rigid that you can’t accept another’s opinion when it is superior to your own. Be willing, even eager, to learn from others. hanging your opinion in light of more facts is a sign of strength of character, not weakness. Be willing to extend a helpful hand and be a team player. Develop a sense of humor – be polite and caring, but be your own person.

Learn to tame your emotional responses. You’re more susceptible to screwing up when you let your emotions get in the way. Of course, everything we do is done based somewhat on our emotions, but strong emotions have a little place in decision making.

Keep your emotions in check. Try to delay decisions if you are emotional that day. Learn to ignore your emotions and use a common sense approach to arrive at your decisions.

Develop the habit of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm works like a magnet it draws people and success. It’s a pleasing personality trait that people like to be a part of. It’s extremely contagious the people around you become enthusiastic and become more cooperative. Enthusiasm sparks originality and purpose.

We’ve talked of working to develop habits;

The habit of focusing on your goals – on your strengths – of learning and researching – of visualizing and the habit of enthusiasm.

Now we will talk of habits in a little different light breaking them. I know . . . this can be a little difficult.

First, recognize the ones that may be annoying to others. Offensive habits can hold you back from success, they are often a part of an unpleasing personality; grumbling or grunting at people instead of answering them – gazing at anything but the speaker when in a conversation – smirking or sneering when you don’t agree.

Anything that is an automatic, displeasing mannerism. After all, a habit is something that we do without thinking much about it. You will have to spend some time at this and be very conscious of yourself. Ask someone you trust to help you with this self evaluation. Keep an open mind for some of that critical feedback.

It may take a lot of work to break yourself of some not-so-professional habits. Try substituting a different, more pleasing behavior for the habit you wish to break.

Part 3: Ways To Live Up To Your Potential

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  1. says

    Hi Christine,

    You are absolutely right. Taking one step at a time will keep you on track working
    towards your goals.

    Although, sometimes the little steps can be the hardest when you are first starting out.

    But if you get into the groove of doing this everyday, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!

    Make it a great day,

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