Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are You Living Up to Your True Potential?

“Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian” – Shari. R. Barr

How do we know what our potential is in life and how can we find the opportunities that will allow us to assess and identify our true potential? Individual potential goes way beyond business to incorporate all aspects of life, but if we just look from a business perspective, do you really know what your ‘true’ potential is? Can we be sure that the aspirations we currently have are in line with our potential and not, for example, being influenced by society or our misguided desire to achieve goals, which might not actually be in line with our real potential?

When do you as an individual take stock of your business career to assess your real potential - to assess whether the career path you are on is actually the right one for you? Don’t some people get caught in their own ‘vortex’, where self-imposed constraints and beliefs guide their future careers; without challenging themselves to find new opportunities that may open the door and identify their latent potential? Without exploring opportunities some people will never allow their true potential to shine through.

When it comes to finding your true potential; who is responsible and who will find the opportunities that will allow you to identify where your real potential is. While growing up, it is the parents who should be exposing their children to as many opportunities as possible, so real individual potential can be seen and identified at an early age.

Then as one moves through life it’s up to you to continually try new things, giving yourself the opportunity to identify any hidden potential; and that curiosity should stay with you as you journey through life. Just because you have entered into a business career and are moving steadily up that business ladder, doesn’t mean this is where your true potential lies. We are often afraid to try something new, partly for financial reasons or the concern of financial security, (which makes sense); but others miss the opportunity to try something new because they fear what people may think of them if they don’t succeed. As Kerry Packer said “life isn’t a dress rehearsal”, so this isn’t a trial run where next time around, you’ll remember what you should and shouldn’t have done, and get it right – this is it; so if you don’t take the risks and explore the opportunities, you may never find your true potential – that one special gift you were given may stay dormant your entire life.

However, besides you and your parents, it’s also the responsibility of organisations to find and identify the potential of all their employees, or at least it should be. By an organisation identifying any latent potential in their employees, they can plan their future business a lot easier, and if they can match organisational needs to individual potential, imagine the performance and culture that organisation will have.

As individuals we must make it our responsibility to find our true potential in our life time and we should affiliate ourselves with organisations (and people) that are just as keen to identify potential as we are. That way it will be a win-win situation for everyone. This goes for CEO’s and Executives, as much as individuals starting out in their careers – it’s never too late to find out whether you have some latent untapped potential just waiting to change your life.

There will be some people who will be disappointed when their individual expectations exceed their potential, but that is in business and maybe their true potential resides elsewhere.

It was Amelia Earhart who said “dreams have no boundaries”. So, with that in mind, it’s worth the effort to find your true potential and then create your dreams around it – imagine what might be possible and what you could achieve in your life time.

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