Reaching your potential: How to know it? How to grow it?
“The more things change, the more they stay the same?” Well, Aristotle thought of it first.
A great philosophical thinker, writer and teacher, Aristotle believed that the universe is in a state of constant motion, always changing, always evolving. However, at the same time, there is one thing that remains a constant in everything—what he called entelechy or one’s essential potential.
Aristotle believed that everything on this planet possesses its own entelechy, or as he coined it, “having one’s end within.” Entelechy is a vital force that motivates and guides an organism toward self-fulfilment.
Consider the mighty oak tree. Its journey to greatness begins with a small acorn seed. Of course, the seed has to go through certain changes and stages of development in order to reach its full potential, but the potential is a constant: to become an oak tree. You will never see an acorn become a petunia plant, an umbrella or a pizza.
According to Aristotle, there is always a reason for everything that happens. Your experiences are designed to shape you, define you and, hopefully, grow you into the mightiest you possible.
Ambitious people often spend a substantial amount of time thinking about strategies that will help them achieve greater levels of success. They strive for a more impressive job title, higher compensation, and responsibility for more sizable revenues, profits, and numbers of employees. Their definitions of success are often heavily influenced by family, friends, and colleagues.
Yet many ultimately find that, despite their efforts and accomplishments, they lack a true sense of satisfaction and fulfilment.
There is a question which everyone should ask to themselves “Am I reaching my potential?” This is not the same as asking, “How do I rise to the top?” or “How can I be successful in my career?” Rather, it’s about taking a very personal look at how you define success in your heart of hearts and then finding your path to get there.
Taking responsibility with an accurate assessment of your current skills and performance. Can you write down your two or three greatest strengths and your two or three most significant weaknesses? While most people can detail their strengths, they often struggle to identify key weaknesses. This exercise involves meaningful reflection and, almost always, requires soliciting the views of people who will tell you the brutal truth. Unfortunately, you often can’t count on others to accurately assess your strengths or to be willing to confront you with what you’re doing wrong. It’s up to you to take control of this process by seeking coaching, asking for very specific feedback, and being receptive to input from a wide variety of people at various levels within your organization. This gathering of feedback needs to be an ongoing process because, as your career progresses, you will face new challenges and demands.