Do you have goals and dreams that you're passionate about but struggle to achieve? Do you ever feel like you have a lot more potential to be, do, have, and experience more in life? If so, this will be an extremely valuable post for you because I'm sharing with you the four biggest mistakes keeping you from achieving your full potential and how you can overcome them.
Imagine this scenario:
- What if you were to wake up tomorrow and you were suddenly living your dream life?
- What if you were suddenly financially independent?
- What if you were suddenly in the best shape of your life?
- What if you were living in your dream home and driving your dream car?
- What if you were suddenly living every moment with purpose and passion?
Sound like a stretch?
I used to think so.
See, I used to feel like my life was on a long road to nowhere, that is, until it happened to me.
I've also used the same exact system I'm going to show you today to improve my relationship with my wife, lose 20 lbs., and purchase my dream home and my dream car. Plus, I wake up every day with passion and enthusiasm for my life.
So what happened? What changed?
What changed is that I got committed and motivated.
I also dedicated myself to learning the secrets to living a successful and fulfilling life.
Finally, I became committed to becoming a better version of myself.
I realized that if I were going to reach my full potential and improve my life, I would first have to improve myself. So I read and studied everything I could find in the areas of positive psychology, neuroscience, goal setting, productivity, relationships, and healthy communication. And through a lot of trial and error, I found out what doesn't work.
And more importantly, I discovered what works. Then I put into practice the secrets you're going to learn today.
So stick with me because today is going to change your life. From this point forward, you will know how to start reaching your full potential. From now on you'll know what works.
Let's get started.
You see, it's my job to teach, coach, and guide you to create a better life. To help you bring out the best in yourself so you can live your best life.
It's your job to believe in yourself to desire a better life for yourself and your family. To develop yourself and become the best you that you can be so you can also liberate other people to do the same thing. Because when you improve yourself, I believe you give others permission to do the same.
If that's what you desire, then I'll be your guide.
Drifting Through Life
I believe you have unlimited potential to live the life you desire and deserve.
But there's a problem.
You see, most people are drifting through life with no real direction, and most people don't even realize it.
Look, I get it. When I first started out, I thought I could tell you what I wanted in life.
I wanted a big house, nice cars, a high-paying job, and someone to love me.
In essence, I wanted to be happy. And when you ask most people what they want in life, they answer with something very similar.
The problem is that while that sounds like direction, it's really not because it doesn't address what most of us are really about at our center. With the exception of having someone to love, it only addresses what we've been taught to believe will fulfill us.
Why are so Many People are Unfulfilled
And this is exactly why most people aren't fulfilled. Why do so many people, after working extremely hard for so long, find themselves dissatisfied with their life and wondering if this is all there really is?
So what do they do next? How do they try to fill the void in their life?
They once again set superficial goals they believe will somehow fulfill them.
The reality is if you don't have a plan for your life, a deeper purpose for getting out of bed that fills you with joy and passion, not for what you have, but for what you're going to do during the day, what you're working toward, and most importantly, how you're contributing to the world then you're never going to be happy.
If you're not waking up excited about your day and how you get to spend it, then you're not living intentionally. And if you’re not living intentionally, you'll never reach your full potential.
"If you’re not living intentionally, you'll never reach your full potential."
One Thing that Changed My Life
One thing that really changed my life, and I believe it's super important that you start here, is to know deep in your heart that you have a purpose for being alive.
Look, there are no accidents in the world, and once you figure out what your purpose is and what your life is going to be about, then it's nearly impossible to have a bad day because even though things might not go the way you planned them, you realize that you're part of something bigger than yourself.
Plus, when you set goals that align with your purpose instead of setting random goals you believe will somehow make you happy, goals that support your purpose, then your motivation and your drive multiply because you start to realize you MUST make this happen. You MUST achieve this goal because it's important. It has meaning to you. And it's tied to who you are and why you're here.
I knew what I wanted ever since I was in 4th grade.
How I Became a Man on Fire
I wanted to be a writer, but it wasn't until I linked writing to my purpose in life that I actually began doing it. Before I did that, writing was a struggle. But once I realized that part of my purpose in life is to learn how to transform my own life so I could teach others how to transform theirs, then my motivation to write and teach went through the roof.
I was a Man on Fire and as a result, I no longer had to work at writing. I just had to do it.
The stuff that once felt like work became just part of the process.
Life is incredible because I'm now living every day on purpose. When you know your purpose and your goals, and they align with each other, then it doesn't matter what kind of struggles you face because you're going to find a way to achieve them.
"When you know your purpose and your goals, and they align with each other, you're going to find a way to achieve them." - Robert Louis Sims
Decide on Your Purpose
So here's the lesson:
- Why am I here?
- What do I want to contribute?
- What do I want my life to be about?
- How do you want people to think about you?
These are powerful questions. Spend some time contemplating them. Decide what you want your life to be about it and then tie it in with what excites and inspires you.
Often times it's those moments of inspiration that we casually dismiss. because we're thinking, “Oh, I'm just dreaming. I'm just getting excited, and it's not going to work out.”
But what if your purpose lies in those moments of inspiration?
What if that’s why you're here, and at that moment, a part of you is connecting with your purpose?
What if, instead of acting on your excitement and inspiration, you doubt yourself and end up dismissing it? Whatever you do, don't do that. At least take some time to explore it.
Take a moment and dream.
- How do I want to contribute to the world around me?
- What is my purpose?
- What does living up to my full potential look like?
Never doubt that you are here for a reason. You see, you were born with gifts, and those gifts are for you to develop and then share with the world. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they're not there.
Focusing on Short-term Results Instead of Long-term Solutions.
The second mistake I see that keeps people from experiencing the life they desire is focusing on short-term results instead of long-term solutions.
The truth is that most people are searching for magic beans.
When it comes to solving their problems, people often want a quick solution to a long-term problem.
- Ineffective leaders want a magic bean that instantly gets people to trust and follow them.
- Ineffective parents want to wave a magic wand and magically have perfect kids that never have to be parented.
- People want to lose weight while still eating a dozen donuts for breakfast.
And the list goes on and on.
But you and I both know it doesn't work that way.
I once visited a man who was going through a divorce. He didn't want the divorce, but his wife did.
He was desperate to get her back, so he asked me for advice.
Baffled, he wanted to know how he could get her to love him again. What he could say to her so that she would take him back and they could return to their life the way they were before.
He was a salesman, and he sincerely believed that if he could find the right words to say that she would buy into the idea that he had changed, fall in love with him, and all would be forgiven.
The Real Problem
But after having a long conversation with him, I quickly realized that he didn't want to change. He wanted her to change.
I told him that if he really wanted to reconcile his marriage, he would have to work on himself more than anything else. He would have to learn to love his wife fully, listen to her, and be there for her. He would have to become the man that she had fallen in love with years ago and that she needed today.
I explained to him that it would take time and that it would require hard work and patience on his part. And with all that, there still wasn't a guarantee that she would want to be with him.
That wasn't what he wanted to hear.
See, the problem was that he wasn't willing to face the real issues and do the work that was needed for long-term change. He still wanted a quick fix to a long-term problem.
His marriage didn't fall apart overnight, but he wanted to fix it with a snap of his fingers. He wanted magic beans.
In essence, he had the wrong map.
He believed, like so many others, that the complex problems we face today can be solved with simple solutions. And when we don't get the results we expected, we feel confused, perplexed, and even angry.
"The complex problems we face today can't be solved with simple solutions." - Robert Louis Sims
Stop Chasing Magic Beans and Begin Working on Yourself
So here's a lesson:
If you want to create lasting change in your life, stop chasing magic beans. Face the real issues and begin working on yourself.
To start the process of working on yourself, you must FIRST decide that if you are going to create a real transformation in your life then you MUST stop making excuses and take full responsibility for your life. That means you have to give yourself for the good you’ve accomplished as well as the bad.
See, most people feel responsible for one but not the other.
Pessimists, for example, only take credit for the problems and failures in their lives. And in many cases, they feel responsible for the problems in other people’s lives as well. But when something good happens, they dismiss the results as flukes or only give credit to someone else.
Optimists do just the opposite. They take credit for the good and then blame things outside of their control for not getting the results they wanted.
If you want to reach your full potential, both are recipes for failure.
What Successful People Realize
Successful people realize that if they want to succeed, they have to give themselves credit for what is working and stop beating themselves up for not immediately getting what they want.
They also understand what is within their control and what isn’t. This outlook gives them the ability to learn, grow, and eventually succeed. And because they understand that the only thing they can control is themselves, they work harder on themselves than anything else.
They understand that the steps to success is to:
- Set a clear intention
- Take deliberate action
- Notice the results they are producing so they can learn from them, make small adjustments in their approach, and then try again.
So, if you want to create lasting change in your life, you have to acknowledge what you control and what you don’t. And when you get a result, no matter if it is good or bad, you need to give yourself credit for taking action.
Be proud of yourself, even if you didn’t immediately get the result you were after, knowing that with effort and a willingness to learn and grow, you will eventually get what you want.
Never Acting on What They
The third mistake I've discovered after deep diving into the popular advice out there for the last 30 or so years is that there is a definite disparity between what works and what's popular.
You see, when people look for solutions to their problems, they're usually getting very incomplete information.
For example, most self-help books and programs only focus on one aspect of the problem.
- What habits do you need to be successful?
- What attitudes you should have?
- How you should think about something.?
But rarely do they focus on all three.
And while all of this can be helpful, they're usually not put together into a complete system.
Yes, after you read them, you might feel smarter. You might even be able to talk about them and sound intelligent. But will you be able to put them into practice?
In most cases, the answer is “No.”
Because they focus on what you should do and why you should do it, but then they leave you to figure out the how on your own.
- How do you implement what you’re learning in your own life?
- How do you create those habits?
- How do you let go of your old ways of thinking and doing and replace them with this new way?
Why Most People Fail to Act
Look, the truth is, that most people never take action on what they learn because they don't know where to begin.
And because they are overwhelmed, they freeze up instead of applying what they are learning.
Or if they do decide to try it, they only try it once, and if it fails and they say, “OK. I knew that wouldn't work.”
So, what do they do next?
They start looking for the next magic bean, anything out there that doesn’t seem too difficult. Next, they begin to reason that there must be another book they can read or course they can take that will help them to finally get the results they are seeking.
Get a Coach to Cheer You Forward
The real problem is that they need a coach. A mentor.
Someone who can show you what to do. Cheer you forward. Hold you accountable. And encourage you to get moving. Because if no one's holding you accountable, nothing's going to happen.
That's why we all need teachers and coaches. People who can help you push past your current limitations and believe in your full potential, even when you currently aren't.
Look, great athletes don't become great athletes on their own. Great students don't become great students on their own.
And just like them, you need someone to inspire you. To push you to believe in yourself and to show you a path that works.
Books, articles, and videos are all great and they have their place. But if you really want to move the needle and make the hard changes that require work and patience, then get someone who’s been there. Someone who understands the path you need to take and can guide you along your journey.
Setting Goals that are Bigger than Our Current Level of Thinking
The fourth mistake I see that is keeping people from reaching their full potential is that people set goals that are bigger than their current level of thinking.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you shouldn't dream big. You should definitely dream big.
In actuality, most people don't get anywhere close to dreaming big, and that's a huge problem as well.
Goals should inspire you. Maybe even intimidate you. In fact, not encouraging you to dream big is one of the problems I have with the idea of setting S.M.A.R.T goals.
"Not encouraging you to dream big is one of the problems I have with the idea of setting S.M.A.R.T goals.
S.M.A.R.T. goals suggest your goals should be realistic and attainable. But who's to say what's realistic and attainable?
Most of the technology we have today wasn't realistic 50 years ago, but nonetheless, here it is.
So please, dream big and once you do that, DREAM BIGGER.
No, the problem isn’t dreaming big. It is in setting goals that you don't really believe you can attain. Goals that are bigger than your current level of thinking.
And the solution to this is to think intentionally.
Look, you are where you are in life today because of the thoughts you had yesterday. If you want to take your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your life to the next level, then you're going to have to learn how to think bigger and better than you have in the past. You’re going to have to learn how to think intentionally.
You are where you are today because of the thoughts you have had in the past. If you want your future to be better than your past then you must transform the thoughts that have held you back.
As the great James Allen wrote in his classic book As A Man Thinketh:
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow. Where your thoughts take you.”
To create the change you desire, you're going to have to create new beliefs, new habits, and new ways of thinking while at the same time letting go of the old ones.
In other words, if you're going to create a breakthrough in your life, then you're going to have to create a breakwith all the thoughts that are keeping you stuck.
Creating breakthroughs in your life begin with your thoughts and your intentions. In other words, change your intentions, change your life.
"Change your intentions, change your life." - Robert Louis Sims
Here's the lesson: Learn how to change yourself from the inside out by carefully choosing your thoughts and your intentions.
To start thinking more intentionally, immediately dismiss any thoughts that don’t align with your intentions. Do not allow them to occupy your mind.
Decide right now that you only have room in your mind for thoughts that support whom you are becoming, what you're achieving, and your true purpose in life.
There you have it, the four biggest mistakes that keep people from achieving their full potential and how you can overcome them. Take time to honestly assess your situation, figure out which ones you’re making, and then make the changes needed.
And most importantly, remember, success doesn’t happen alone. We all need a coach and a community if we are serious about reaching our full potential.
Let me know. Which of the four mistakes do you need to work on the most?