7 Ways to Maximize Your Potential
“Follow your passion”, “Save for the rainy day”, “Find a mentor”, “Listen to your heart”, “Never give up.”
Most of us surely have heard those motivational advices before.Unfortunately, success is not uniform.What worked for Bill Gates definitely did not work for Steve Jobs. In my humble opinion, personal success is defined by how one is able to maximize his or her potentials during the course of his or her life.All around the world, companies compete to maximize profit and brands fight with one another to maximize their exposure.Why we, as people, sometimes ignore our potentials and instead, just settle to what society believes we should do?
Here are seven ways to maximize your life:
1. Fail Fast, Fail Better
Passion is overrated.Your parents or teachers might be mad at me for telling you this.However, too many times I heard the advice to “follow your passion”……and then nothing happened. No follow ups.Society tends to focus on success stories of the people who followed their passion...and made it big.Society forgets that there were people who follow their passion, and screwed up badly.
So it is important to remember that sometimes, passion follows the money, and not the other way around.If you see an opportunity to make a “dent in the universe” and make money along the way doing that, then go for it, even if the work is not your passion.Because once you see the happy face of the people you serve, and your growing bank account, whatever business you are in, it will become your passion.Don’t wait until you find your passion.Create it. (Mantras of Success)
2. Take Responsibility
Have you ever felt that the people you have been looking up to all these years turned out to “misdirect” you?These people can be your parents, your partner, your brothers or sisters, your pastors, your teachers.Anybody.And if you are like a normal human being, you will blame them when the day comes you realize that they’ve got it wrong.Well, stop. And remember Harry Potter.
“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” JK Rowling, Harry Potter AuthorThe only way you can get better is if you blame nothing except yourself, and vow to learn from the fiasco.
3. Know Your Why(s), And It’d Better Be about Something Bigger than You
The best feeling in the world is when you feel you have done something meaningful for someone else.And it does not have to be monetary. It can be as simple as pushing someone to follow her dream, or be a good listener to his problem.If you want to start a business, money is a good motivator but do not make it ALL your motivation.Something else as simple as making your family’s life better, taking care of your parents better, or providing education to children in underdeveloped countries is a must.
The successful businesses such as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, or Google have grown magnanimously by adding values to people’s life by making it easier, more practical, and more connected.Money, after all, is simply the direct manifestation of the values we provide in this world.
4. Understand the Importance of Money
Money is not meant to be kept.Lots of people think saving is the best way to build wealth.They can’t be more wrong.Saving money in the banks is a sure way to lose its value (google “inflation”).Saving money is good, and critical, to build emergency fund. However, if you want to build wealth, then saving is not the way to do it.
Money is an energy, which means it will die if it does not get circulated. If you want to build REAL wealth, start circulating the energy of your money by investing it or by hiring smarter people to help you with your business (or work).The amount of time you gain by letting your money work for you will be the main reason wealth happens. (Make Your Money Work)
5. Be Content to be Called “Crazy and Stupid”
This can be hard for most people. After all, we have been trained to be “realists” throughout our life.If Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, The Wright Brothers, Bill Gates, Reed Hastings, and Steve Jobs were realists, we wouldn’t have cars, telephones, telegrams, airplanes, Microsoft, Netflix, and Apple.Realists limit themselves with dogma. Realists follow what society expects from them.Realists concern more about surviving then thriving.And realists love to remind others who are “unrealistic.”
To max your life, you have to think big, dream big, visualize big, and write them down FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.Be careful whom you share your vision with. Make sure the people you share your entrepreneurship vision with have the same vision with you.Otherwise, they will try to shoot down your dreams. They mean no harm, but remember, they are trained to be “realistic”.
6. Know What You Are Learning
A lot of people will advise you to never stop learning.And they are not wrong.However, continuous, never-ending learning can be detrimentalif you do not know what to focus on.One of the reasons many entrepreneurs fail is the constant need to find “the next best thing”.Today they learn about a restaurant businesses, the month after they learn about e-commerce business, and in three months, they want to master a car-rental business.What if the “next best thing” is actually the current “just OK thing” repeated and improved again and again?To me, it is better to be a master of one than a jack of all trades.
7. Know When to Walk Away
The last but not least, you have to know when to stop.Not everyone is Michael Jordan, Al Pacino, or Steve Jobs.They should be the inspirations, but not obsessions.Obsession is like addiction. It makes you want something you can’t get ---- or can’t get yet --- even more with every failure.If you keep failing without learning anything from it, then you have failed to fail better.Learn from your failures.
Keep improving, but know what your maximum “pain point” is.And not to say that you have to stop forever.Taking a break from trying is not uncommon among the most successful people in the world.Failure is not to be feared or avoided……as long as you know Why you failed and you learn from it. (Learn From Successful People)