Living to your full potential may seem like an unlikely topic for Golden-Agers. But at any age, you can set goals about how to live your life whether it’s traveling, making more friends, socializing, getting a part-time job, helping others, and on and on.
Have we learned anything over the years about living to your full potential?
According to popular belief, on average, we are only using 10% of our brain and thus only 10% of our potential. That means that we can be 10 times more productive – and more successful – than we are now.
Some professionals claim that the number is much lower, at just 2%.
Whatever the number, most of us are clearly living far below our full potential. We sell ourselves short and then create reasons that justify and rationalize our lack of success and poor performance.
The Three Big Lies
There are three big lies that we often tell ourselves which feed our inability to live to our fullest potential.
- Lie 1. Beating yourself up is productive.We spend a lot of energy telling ourselves that we’re just not good enough, which leaves little energy for everything else. This may be true if you find yourself reading and taking quizzes to uncover your hidden talents and the right direction for yourself. Or perhaps you focus on what others are doing, or pretty much on anything except yourself. We limit our potential by failing to focus on what we truly want, and what we are passionate about.
- Lie 2. Failure, fear, and sorrow don’t feature in a life fulfilling potential.This is downright wrong. Part of living to your full potential is embracing fear and failure, and acting anyway. We view things, as they are, not how they should be.
- Lie 3. Telling yourself, you are not good enough.That is what you’re doing when you kick yourself for not achieving your full potential. It’s a lie, and it is disempowering. Let go of the lie and choose empowerment, because the choice is always
Overcoming Lies – Living to Your Full Potential
Just as there are three lies, there are three ways to ensure that you are living to your full attention.
- It’s time to develop your long-term vision.
Skip ahead a year, five (or maybe even ten) years, and what type of life do you see for yourself? What job will you have, what life will you lead? What type of success do you wish to achieve? How do you imagine yourself feeling about yourself?
- Set goals.You have your vision, now you need to shape it into goals that are specific and actionable.Come up with at least 10 goals that you would like to achieve professionally (Yes, Golden-Agers can have professional goals. Life isn’t over yet.) and Review your list and choose the goal that will make the most difference in your life. Create a timeline and milestones on how you will achieve it.
- Create winning habits …Winning habits are is crucial to success.The habits that you have now are responsible for your performance, skill set, and the success that you have today – both personally and professionally. If you aren’t happy with your success, then it’s vital to adopt new, winning habits. The most important habit is self-discipline. This is the ability to motivate yourself to do what you need to be doing, even when you don’t feel like it.
Living up to your potential doesn’t mean avoiding failures or mistakes. It means embracing those things and plowing ahead. It means choosing you, and doing things one step a time, doing it your way. Remember Frank Sinatra’s song: “I Did It My Way.” Life is not about pleasing everyone around you; instead, it about pleasing yourself. Do it your way!
Don’t get caught up in the belief that others are better or more capable than you are. You can achieve those same things. Nor should you hold yourself back. Reach for the sky.! Achieve everything you want to. Don’t hold yourself back just because you’re worried about upsetting the apple cart.
It’s your life. Live it! So what you want to do?
I’ve always loved birds. Whenever I see one, or many, filling the sky, they’re soaring high above the earth. They urge me to soar as well. Be bold, they seem to be saying. Reach towards new heights! Be your most genuine self, whatever your endeavor may be.
Move onward and upward!
Choose to live up to your full potential. Give yourself permission to be you. You will feel empowered, excited, determine, proud, and even scared. You’ll have more energy and vitality to achieve your goals.
But it won’t happen by accident; it’ll happen because you choose it.