Are you developing your full potential?
I hope so, but most people don’t. Most people never fulfill their true potential. They exit this life having existed in the safety of mediocrity rather truly living among the dangerously heroic.
I once read that the richest place in the world is the cemetery. That’s because of all the hopes and dreams buried there. Books that were dreamed of but never written; business ideas that were never launched; songs that were never sang outside the mind of their composer.
For every successful writer, entertainer, business tycoon, or inventor, I sometimes wonder how many others could have been just as successful, but weren’t. They would say they tried but were held back by fate, the system, the man or just plain bad luck.
A study from Fidelity Investments states that 88 percent of American millionaires are self-made. Forget the stereotypes and news tags of the one percent being born with a silver spoon in their mouth. That’s not how most people succeed in this country. Most who succeed do so by not just having a good idea, but consistently working to make that idea a reality. Guess what else? They have to fight against fate, the system, the man and bad luck too. Yet, they overcome.
I recently visited with a friend who is a self-made millionaire. He built his company from scratch and hard work years ago and is now semi-retired. His life isn’t perfect, but his career is what we non-millionaires would call “successful.”
I once asked him how he built his company. In reply, he described a regimen of daily and weekly goal setting combined with hard work and proper training. For years he made chicken feed for pay. But when his breakthrough came, it came big.
Folks, developing your full potential isn’t all about money. I merely use this example to demonstrate that to achieve your dream, it takes a plan, good training and consistent hard work. One other little item. My friend wasn’t scared to launch out on his own and build a company from the ground up.
I’ve got another friend with great, yet unfulfilled dreams. He talks a bold game, but never ventures outside the safe monotony of the 9-5 grind. In truth, this is sadly too many of us. Most people never fulfill their true potential. They never implement their full creativity or best ideas. It’s so easy to settle for a routine job that offers the mental challenge of a wet mouse trying to eat a piece of cheese. You get fed, but in the end you’re still wet and you’re still a mouse.
One day you and I will lay in that cemetery. No more chances to write that book, start that business or compose that song. Whatever your dream, go for it. Live your life in such a way that when you’re old and your health is gone, you don’t look back in regret at what could have been. Rather, you look back with pride in what you accomplished. Live your life so that when it’s over, you can truly say with a full heart that you left your little corner of the world better than you found it.