At the heart of why people do whatever they believe is meaningful work is their desire to arrive at their most authentic expression: their human potential.
The terminology “human potential” gets thrown around without people genuinely understanding it. It’s irrevocably something everyone aims to achieve, the peak of their needs and demands. But the more these words are passed around, the more loose its meaning becomes.
Human potential can be anything.
Since it’s directly dependent and associated with every individual, surely its meaning is bound to change from one person to another. But this doesn’t mean people shouldn’t know what truly encompasses this concept and where its limitations lie.
One Trick to Describing Human Potential
Russell Marlett’s Commentaries on the Book of Wisdom perfectly captures the importance of people unlocking their potential. He writes that people’s lack of comprehension about their potential is their only limitation to accomplishing many great successes. Unknowing what they’re truly capable of, people often settle with the ordinary, finding contentment in routine.
What is life but an endless adventure toward identifying and fulfilling life’s purpose? If there’s one thing in common about humankind, it’s their struggle toward understanding life. Nothing triggers their existential crises more than questioning their whys.
“Why am I here?”
“Why do I need to work?”
“What is the meaning of my life?”
Every activity and decision people undertake aims to determine their life’s purpose – the very reason behind their existence, the fulfillment of their human potential. People live a life focused on unlocking their purpose. But, of course, not everyone is appropriately guided to the right path or process of achieving it due to misconceptions about what potential truly is.
This is precisely why power-hungry leaders and cruel and dishonest people exist within the world, those who have asked themselves what they want but listened to the wrong answer. These people have once sought to unlock their potential only to be blinded by the endless possibilities, taking advantage of this abundance and bringing chaos to their lives.
Human Potential Movement
With enough determination, people can achieve countless possible ideas. But only some of these are worth doing. This is the chief determinant of what true potential is. The trick is to sort and identify which of these numerous possibilities are useful and for the good.
However, with the ever-changing world, people can be too caught up in surviving rather than living. They’re too stuck going through routines to ask if what they’re doing is what’s truly meant for them. People can be too anxious about the future; they forget to focus on today, obstructing how they unlock their potential. For those lost and confused, here are some steps to help identify who one’s meant to be:
Trace Back to Maslow’s Pyramid
Maslow’s pyramid defines and categorizes people’s needs depending on which weighs more importance. A thorough examination of this ideology allows people to contemplate which aspect of life they still need to work on.
But in unlocking human potential, people start by imagining a life where all their needs have been met. They don’t have to worry about providing food for themselves, having healthy relationships and connections, or finding money to last. Instead, they’re left with identifying what they genuinely want to do without these obstructions or limitations. If they don’t have to worry about anything, where do their values, interest, and passion lie?
Once they’ve identified what they’re truly passionate about, it’s time to define goals. With all the other needs already fulfilled, what else do they want to achieve? After identifying what they genuinely wish to accomplish without restrictions, they may begin planning how to get there. They can identify the steps or actions needed to achieve their desired peak experience.
Don’t Forget Inner Work
It’s easy to consider the process of unlocking human potential as a to-do list, a procedure involving different steps requiring immense effort and determination. Although goals are crucial in tapping into one’s potential, Inner Work makes these more manageable and attainable. Unlimited possibilities will become useless if the body and mind are too weak to function.
Inner Work is done by reading self-help books, meditating, and seeking advice from books like Russell Marlett’s. These help people pay attention to what needs replenishing mentally and spiritually, thus tying everything together and making efforts more sustainable.
Unlocking human potential will be a daunting process. It may not be a pass-or-fail course, but the journey will be most challenging for anyone. The word potential may lead to feelings of defeat as it can allude to “not being there.”
The potential will remain a potential unless people attain it, but they may also find it tricky to tell once it’s achieved. Throughout the process, people can be tempted to give up and believe they will never amount to anything. The potential isn’t a linear process. Sometimes, people may feel like they aren’t moving anywhere, thus why developing self-compassion is essential.
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