by ANDY WIMBERLY
John Maxwell says, “Identify your mountain, your purpose in life, so that the work (or play) you do is meaningful. I meet people every day who are basically climbing the wrong mountain. People have spent 20 years of their life doing something that has no deep purpose for them and they suddenly look back and say, ‘What have I been doing?’ They’ve been working on something that has no deep purpose for them and something they are not passionate about.” Sound familiar?
I was introduced, by my friend and Butler Snow Advisory associate Martin Willoughby, to a new word last month: Arête, an ancient Greek word that means the fulfillment of one’s purpose or the act of living up to one’s full potential.
This got my thinker thinking. What is our full potential? And once we know what our full potential is, how do we go about moving towards it and reaching it? Why don’t more people even attempt this journey? A word of caution about my thinker—it doesn’t think like most folks do, and keep in mind that I was in the half of my class in school that made the top half possible.
A persons full potential always starts by working in their Sweet Spot, their Unique Ability, their Zone. I’ve found that when a person performs in their sweet spot for even a brief period of time, the following breakthroughs often appear:
- They know they have superior skills in this area;
- Their work is rejuvenating, creates energy, and is not tiring;
- They are always improving;
- They are passionate;
- Soon it attracts others just to watch them do what they do.
Test the jobs, projects, positions you are currently in against these five measurements.
Whether you are a doctor, farmer, entertainer, truck driver, preacher, bookkeeper, housewife, or schoolteacher. If you’ve been in the workforce for 30 years or 30 days, test yourself against these breakthroughs. Stop reading this article and DO IT NOW! Do it honestly and openly (no one will know how you did but you). How did you do? Are you close to your Sweet Spot?
Once you find your Sweet Spot, you are about to begin a most delightful journey—the road to your FULL POTENTIAL (Arête). The trip will be exciting, eventful and sometimes a bit challenging, but well worth the effort and time. It won’t happen overnight and remember, “this journey to your full potential is about progress, not perfection.”
Obviously reaching your full potential sounds wonderful. Then why don’t more people try to reach their potential? I think there are four main reasons:
- They’ve never thought about reaching their potential—they are too busy;
- They think they don’t have the time—they are too busy;
- They have no clarity, vision, or direction on how to even start—they are too busy;
- They don’t know their sweet spot—they are too busy climbing the wrong mountain.
We are all too busy, don’t you think? What can we do to refocus, get some direction, clarity, and vision for our life that will at the very least head us toward the path of reaching our full potential.
Here’s your homework until the next article:
Set the alarm clock just 30 minutes earlier, grab your coffee, get in a room by yourself, and just RELAX. Take a few deep breaths and think about what gives you energy, pleasure, and passion. Focus on jobs, projects, and activities that you just love to do. Then think how that passion could help other people. Focus on usefulness. Think about how you can help people and really bring value to the world!
Good luck on identifying your mountain and starting on your path of reaching your full potential (Arête). Call or email me if you get stuck in a rut and we’ll get unstuck together.
Wimberly & Associates are executive coaches and financial advisors that use THE DISCOVERY PROCESS™ to help individuals and businesses reach their full potential. firstname.lastname@example.org