“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Potential
Things are changing fast. We know so much more today than we the previous generation knew at this point in their lives. But it’s too much.
As we scramble to keep pace, more information is coming and it’s eating our collective lunch.
What we used to put our faith in is failing us. Organized religion, legacy media and our elected officials are coming up short.
New technology is dividing us as a country and making us lonely as individuals. And in their next assault, they’re setting a trap in the form of a metaverse. A virtual reality that invites you to say “fuck the real world.”
So, here we are. Drowning in information, blindly searching for knowledge, starving for wisdom, while still desiring happiness, success and contentment.
That big wet blanket got me thinking about human potential. More specifically, taking responsibility for it, understanding and unlocking it. Here’s what I want to talk about:
- Understanding Your Potential
- Taking Ownership of Your Potential
- A Learning Framework for Making it Happen
Understanding Your Potential
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
For too many people, potential is like a pyramid and they’re at the bottom. When they’re young, they feel like the entire world is laid out for them, and they’re not necessarily wrong. The world is their oyster and they’re potential is unlimited.
But here’s the problem: As they move along in life and they get closer to the top of the pyramid, their potential begins to decrease more and more every year.
Why does this happen? Poor professional and personal choices, limiting thinking, debt, unhealthy lifestyles, and poor decision making on how to spend their time and attention, to name a few causes.
When they hit their 60s, their potential has narrowed exponentially to almost zero.
But it’s actually more like an upside down triangle and you’re at the bottom. When you’re young and just getting started, your potential is narrow because you lack knowledge, wisdom, experiences and resources.
As you move along in life and begin to learn and gain those things, your potential expands. Think about Jeff Bezos; is his potential getting bigger or smaller? Obviously bigger. He has more of everything except time, but would anyone be surprised if he somehow solved that?
Getting back to Gandhi’s quote “Learn as if you were to live forever,” when you commit to life-long learning, your potential continues to expand throughout your life.
Taking Ownership of Your Potential
We all know someone who peaked in high school, and that’s unfortunate. But by far the worst shape is this:
Start limited and end limited.
You probably also know someone who lived (or is living) this experience.
This happens for a lot of reasons but the root cause is a lack of personal agency. A belief they’ll never make anything of themselves and or the world is out to get them so what’s the point.
No agency = No potential
You’re capable of doing just about anything, I believe in you.
What’s required is desire. You have to want to do it.
From there, it’s figuring out what you want and where you want to go. Then it’s taking inspired action to get there.
A Learning Framework for Making it Happen
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Our capacity to learn and to grow is a legitimate superpower.
That being said and getting back to where I started, we’re living in difficult times.
It’s not enough to know, it’s now enough to know how, we must also be able to take our new learnings and make them real and sustainable in our lives.
Whatever you’re trying to get better at, if it’s personal finance, relationships or your leadership skills, there are three models for doing it.
- DIY Model. Information and raw data is everywhere. I’ve certainly combed through it all to learn new skills. Through the podcast and blog, we’re putting a ton of information into the world that people are learning for free.
- Invest Model. Tapping into the knowledge and teachings of others can greatly enhance the learning process. I’ve paid for and benefitted from many courses from college to online learning.
- Partner Model. Wisdom is more valuable today than ever. Getting the support and expertise in the form of coaching, advising or a mastermind can get you where you want to go a lot faster.
Obviously, the more you can interact with an expert, the better. But if you have the time and attention, you can most certainly piece everything together on your own.
Something I’m extremely proud of and excited about, even though it happened by accident, is the ecosystem of learning the podcast has created.
Over the past 1300 + episodes, I’ve interviewed subject matter experts who are coaches and advisors, who are course creators, who have written books, and who have their own podcasts.
Today, I’m very happy to announce the launch of a website for the podcast, LifeBlood.Live.
It’s a place where you can go and listen to podcast episodes, read written content, take courses, and engage directly with our guests and their coaching.
Next year, we’ll begin monthly events and I’m excited to see the impact we’ll have.
Check it out, would love to hear what you think!
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