1) People who have no idea who they want to become, what they want to do, or where they want to go with their life; and drift as a result.
2) People who know exactly where they want to go and who they want to become but never do it. Why? Usually because they have fears that hold them back, they are not willing to pay the price, or they worry about other responsibilities that will go unfulfilled.
3) People who know exactly where they want to go and do it. They act every day with passion, focus, and determination. Failures are nothing more than stepping stones for learning and growth. These are the people who grow to reach their fullest potential.
To grow as a person and reach for your full potential, the best place to start is with identifying your strengths, values, and passions. There is a connection between reaching your potential and being aware of your passions. And more often than not your passions will flow from your strengths and values. When you connect with your passions it allows you to act every day from your heart; it gives you the energy to propel you toward your goals, while overcoming setbacks and failure.
To discover your passions it is important to listen to your heart; pay attention to what you love to do over and over again. Ask yourself, where can I use my strengths, where can I exercise my values, where can I make a difference, what fulfills me? Being aware of who you are, fulfilling what you want to do with your life and who you want to become is the most important thing you will ever do.
To reach your full potential you must know where you want to go. How do we move from where we are to where we want to go? It is a process! Consider these ideas I learned from John C. Maxwell from his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth:
1) Develop an awareness of where your choices and actions are taking you today. Are they taking you in the direction you want to go? Are they growing you into the person you want to become? If not, make a list of the steps you must take to get to where you want to go. Think about where and how you can use your strengths, live your values, and pursue your passions.
2) Take action every day in the direction of where you want to go in life. The key is taking the right actions that will move you forward toward your goals. And it is important to take the right actions every day. A small step in the right direction every day will eventually become gigantic steps toward reaching your potential.
3) Hold yourself accountable to keep moving forward. Here are two very helpful ideas. First, go public with your goals. When you tell others what you intend to accomplish it puts pressure on you to perform. Second, every day write down what actions you took to move you forward toward your goals. The process forces you to take a look at your daily decisions and actions.
4) Attract the right people to you. We all attract people toward us who are like us. When you start growing and moving toward your passions, you will begin to attract people who are moving in the same direction as you want to go. You will start to attract people like the person you want to become. When you are focused on pursuing your dreams, you will attract people who are pursuing similar dreams. This places you in a position to work with and receive support from like-minded people.
5) Be prepared to pay the price. To grow and move forward requires people to change. To face our fears will require change. To overcome obstacles will require change. To change will require giving up things you enjoy.
6) Don’t wait until you are ready. If you wait until you have enough money, enough education, enough time, enough experience, or meet the right people, you will never get started; and getting started is the only thing that is important. You must adopt the attitude you will learn as you go. You must assume the attitude you will learn from your mistakes as you continue to move forward. You must get started on the journey if you ever hope to reach your full potential.
This quote by John Maxwell speaks to the rewards of pursuing your passions, allowing you to grow as a person toward your full potential. “People say there are two great days in a person’s life: the day you were born and the day you discover why.”