“I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact.”
—Elon Musk, CEO, at Tesla and at SpaceX
Image from Unsplash by Nicolas Lobos
Elon Musk probably lives by the credo “No Risk, No Reward.” He has clearly pushed the boundaries of entrepreneurship to their limits, and in many cases, come out on top. Although financial success is used on many occasions to demonstrate achievement, Musk’s shoot-for-the stars approach almost always focuses on making a difference and leaving a contributing dent in the universe.
Clearly venturing into space safely and reaching the red planet in one piece is pretty high on his list.
What impact do you wish to make with your personal and professional life? How can you more courageously go where you’ve never been before to explore and reach new levels of your potential?
“The challenges that we face test us and help reveal our true potential.”
Image from Unsplash by Taylor Wilcox
In school, we receive a lesson and then take the test. In life, we are tested and challenged—and only then do we sometimes embrace the lesson.
How and in what ways are your personal and professional circumstances testing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual capacities? Where are you being pushed and pulled to stretch beyond your perceived limits?
Where does your true potential lie beyond your current view of yourself?
Answering these questions many not always give us a full picture of our potential growth opportunities. Sometimes members of our communities who act as sounding boards or mirrors can reveal even more than we can visualize on our own.
Identify at least one family member, professional colleague, mentor, or coach to explore the various challenges and tests you are facing. Explore how such relationships can reveal even more of your true potential. Consider how taking on such a role for others can also enhance your own growth.
“Following the crowd never gets you very far.”
Image from Unsplash by Chuttersnap
It is human nature to want to belong to our professional and personal communities. We tend to thrive and live longer, happier lives due to the supportive relationships around us.
Following the crowd and group think, however, is rarely associated with extraordinary levels of achievement and excellence. When one looks at the subject of personal mastery, important relationships with role models, mentors, teachers, and coaches are always involved. And yet, they evolve and change over time, to propel people forward, often leaving once valued relationships behind.
Where in your life have you and are you following the crowd? How has doing so held you back from going even further in either your personal or professional life?
What bolder, more courageous actions can and will you take to realize even more of your fullest potential?
“It’s hard to see your own face without a mirror.”
—Phil McGraw, American TV Personality “Dr. Phil”
Image from Unsplash by Laurenz Kleinheider
I recently facilitated a team-building workshop with one of my favorite clients. Half of the twelve participants had worked with me before. The other six were with me for the first time. The senior leader has been coaching each of them for more than a decade and he wanted to boost his efforts with this session.
We discussed a variety of topics, and did a strength/weakness exercise, which is fairly standard for such meetings. Surprisingly, the feedback and comments from their colleagues made an even bigger impression on the participants than most expected.
Where are or could you more fully use the people in your personal and professional communities as a mirror, to realize more of your fullest potential?
“Their opinion of your potential has nothing to do with your opportunity to prevail.”
—Brendon Burchard, High Performance Author
“What others think about you is none of your business” is a thought to consider, particularly when being judged harshly.
Consider your parents, teachers, bosses, and friends, and see how many of them sapped you versus zapped you over the years.
Unfortunately, many of these usually well-intended folks leave a negative wake and plant bitter seeds that can dramatically impact our self-worth and confidence.
Who are the negative, unsupportive, and even toxic people in your world that could be avoided?
Where and in what ways can and will you find the determination, grit, and tenacity to prevail in your most important priorities?
Consider working with a coach, mentor, or friend to support your efforts.
“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
—Benjamin Franklin, American Statesman & Founding Father
Image from prachnhachivit.com
Benjamin Franklin lived an extraordinary life well into his 80’s. He considered each day precious in his personal growth efforts, and in his desire to contribute to the world.
Even so, he may have had regret, given today’s quote, that he did not realize even more of his potential.
How can you squeeze the most out of each day with a youthful spirit and the wisdom to pay your lessons and contributions forward?
“There’s no such thing as overachievers; there are only under estimators.”
Image from pass-it-on.tumbler.com
What is your potential for achievement? Perhaps the better question is, “What is your perception of your potential?”
People never simply luck out and exceed their expectations. They have to work at it.
Too many people, on the other hand, have a more limited or modest view of what they can achieve. Even if they hit their mark, they are often shooting at a less than optimal target.
Where in either your personal or professional life is it appropriate, even necessary, to stretch and overestimate your capabilities to achieve your most highly desired objectives?
– Robert J. Kriegel and Louis Patler, business authors
Recently, I saw the new Star Trek movie, directed by J.J. Abrams. As an original fan of the series, I love the idea of boldly going where no man has gone before.
A key characteristic of Captain James T. Kirk is that he constantly challenges his limits, when those around him seem to insist on them. This quality is perhaps why we find his character so appealing. We, too, wish to have more excitement and adventure, to spice things up.
Where are you currently limiting yourself in your thinking and actions? If some of these limits were removed, where could you boldly go today and in the future?
“…would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become.”
– Orison Swett Marden
What are we capable of? What is our fullest potential as human beings? Perhaps we can consider the Guinness Book of World Records – or the Olympics – as a starting point.
We might think about great feats in areas such as:
- Speed at running, or swimming (Ye Shiwen and Cameron van der Burgh both set new world records for swimming in the 2012 Olympics)
- Endurance and strength (Kim Un-Guk set a weightlifting world record)
- Throwing, climbing, jumping, shooting… (a team from the Republic of Korea set an archery world record)
- Writing and speaking
- Mathematics and sciences
- Mastery in the arts, music, or other creative disciplines
- Memory (such as in a spelling bee)
With the above capacities already realized by human beings, what would a “world-record you” be capable of?
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