Wednesday 19 July 2017

Why Do So Few People Reach Their Potential?

Why Do So Few People Reach Their Potential?

Let’s face it: the cards are stacked against some people. It’s much easier for someone who already has a lot of resources to do things that might be considered successful. If you are the son of a famous film producer, it’s not as difficult for you to get a good job in the film industry as it would be for someone who is born in rural Kenya who might have the same dream and the same potential. We live in a world where some people have big advantages and other people have to work a hundred times harder for even a tenth of the wealth, status, quality of life, accomplishments or level of success. While this definitely is unfair, and ideally it shouldn’t be this way, it’s the state of the world we live in right now. Because of this, we can understand why a lot of people are dragged down by their circumstances, and social mobility is very difficult.

However, this isn’t the whole story.

There are millions of people who are being innovative, fighting against the odds and making their lives a success despite their backgrounds. Even when realistically they should have been just like everyone else who was born or lived in similar circumstances, they rose above and managed to reach their full potential.

J.K. Rowling was a single mother who survived on state benefits. Her manuscript for Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishers, and she was told by one publisher not to quit her day job and that she was not a good writer. Today, she is a multi-millionaire author. She’s no longer listed as a billionaire because she donated such a large portion of her wealth to charity that she was knocked off of Forbes’s list. By all measures, she’s an amazing success, and she has overcome the obstacles of her past.
Are the people who can accomplish these successes just the products of miracles or of dumb luck?

Usually not. Usually, these are people who are able to have perseverance and determination despite their circumstances, who constantly work to improve themselves, and who do not listen to negative messages about what they know they want to do with their lives. But they’re also people who are shrewd and savvy, grabbing good opportunities and being willing to work extremely hard and adapt in order to find success.

The main obstacle to most people’s success is fear. Most people think that it’ll be too much work, or that others will make fun of them if they fail or if they’re rejected. They’re too afraid of what will happen once they really start going after their success. They might even be afraid that they’re not good enough to get what they want.

Getting past your own fear is the only way you can reach your full potential. When you remember that the worst that can happen is a momentary failure, and that you will live to fight another day even if you do fail, it can help you to get past some of these fears. Believe me, I’ve had many failures in my past, but I’ve fought through them and kept trying until I found my own personal success in life.

Lots of people are also held back by their own pride. They think that taking the long way around is undignified and they’d rather not try anything at all instead of try something that they think is beneath them. So, you might desperately want to be a singer but you won’t want to start out singing at small clubs because you think you’re only meant for arenas. Or you might not want to try out for a reality show singing competition because you think it ruins your credibility. However, many people who have achieved great success were willing to try anything to get there, and if you’re too proud to take a chance at something that could take you to success, you’re holding yourself back. Many famous movie stars started out doing very cheesy commercials. They might be embarrassed about these commercials now, but it gave them the start that they needed to get where they are today. You’re not too good to get your hands dirty on your way to success.

Most people also don’t reach their full potential because of the fact that they’re not willing to put in the years of hard work that it usually takes to get there. Anyone who makes anything substantial of their lives will tell you that they had to work to get there. For most of us, nothing is simply handed to us on a silver platter, and nothing comes easy. If you give up after two weeks, six months or even five years, instead of finding better ways of doing what you do, you will never know the success that could have been just a few steps ahead.

Of course, the vast majority of people who don’t reach their full potential are simply not given the chance. The next Einstein might be in a village in India right now, but she is simply not receiving the opportunity to reach that potential. If you’re lucky enough to have some resources at your disposal, you don’t have this excuse. If you have access to the internet, there are a thousand resources you could be using to make your dreams come true. Educate yourself, ask for help or advice and look for ways to make it happen. The people who really reach their potential in life are those who take the chances they’re given and make the best of them.

No excuse is worth missing out on your dreams.

Click on the next blog post to continue reading