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How do we kill our own potential?

Updated: Apr 20

Taking into account all the deceased potentials, humankind is long overdue to write a requiem for those. And by potential here I mean not only careers, but all kinds of different contexts of life: creativity, family, social activities. And as long as non-achievers get irritated and nauseous hearing about increasing their effectiveness, all their attempts to succeed will fail miserably.

You see-effectiveness is not a matter of choice. Being effective is a priori beneficial both for us and the world around us, therefore it can’t be a result of our conscious NON-choice.

Then why some of us take actions, make mistakes, move forward and become happier, while the others sit there practicing accepting their failed attempts and even more so-even fighting for their right to those? Yes, what people from the second example are doing is self-deception. They like saying “There’s a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together”. But all they’re doing is collecting those stones in the form of knowledge and information, not giving anything back to the world in return.

So why do those people do that? Why all they do is collect the crops, not even admitting to themselves that it’s all just going to rot? Of course they’re not doing it consciously, with intent. Because if they could-they would have given all they have to the world, for they have so much goodies just laying around on their shelves! And still they don’t.

There are several reasons, and they all are in their heads, of course. First of all, they’re never “ready”, and the conditions are never favorable for them. Yes, I’m talking about our dear perfectionists.

They’re convinced that:

  • their knowledge and experience have no value;

  • now is not the good time;

  • the conditions right now are not good enough;

  • they don’t have enough skills just yet;

  • they’ll be judged and laughed at;

  • all the worthy positions are taken, ideas expressed, projects brought to life.

There’s a whole parliament working in their heads. There’s a thorough sorting of all the “pros” and “cons” going on as if millions of people depended on their decision.

But that’s not the worst that can happen. It’s only a half-tragedy if you have goals but haven’t achieved them. Just having those makes you feel warmer, sleep better, it gives you energy and your life-meaning. You deal with life shortcomings better, because one day you finally will.. And all this right now is just temporary! Yes, at least they have a chance!

What’s worse-is when there’s no dreams at all. There’s nothing. A person turns into the walking “purpose search engine”. They spend their whole life asking themselves torturous questions like “what’s the point in all this?”, “why doing something if I won’t change anything in this world anyway?”, “why putting in all the effort if I’m not going to be the best?”. Out of all the things they only clearly understand what they don’t want. How can a person who doesn’t know what they want and why live effectively? They can’t!

This way of thinking puts a lot of people’s lives on pause that can last for many years.

And for some people-their whole life.

What’s interesting-is that these inner dialogues also make time go faster. As a lot of you probably already noticed, time is not linear and depends on how you look at it. Sometimes one minute lasts like ten, but an hour can fly as if it was a minute. So for that person, constantly living in their thoughts, time slips away. To their surprise, they all of a sudden realize that a month-year-five years already flew by like one day. But of course! They lived all that time like every day was a Groundhog Day. Yes, something was going on in their lives, but as if it all was just “happening to them”.

So what do we do?

The most important task for a person whose unrealized potential has already started to eat them from the inside out and whose life doesn’t seem to be moving is to zip the mouths of all the voices in their head and just start doing!

You see-it’s nearly impossible to chew a gum and blow bubbles at the same time-in order to do one thing, you have to stop doing another. Your effectiveness starts with action and intention, but you can’t have those while you’re busy living in your head.

Unnecessary thoughts dissipate when you start acting.

An action, whether it’s automatic like cleaning your house, or running on a treadmill; or focused, like working on a project, does amazing things to a person. Once the process has started, it’s not even that relevant, how and why it’s happening. You just do, and taking that action alone makes you feel good. And even more-once you see the result, you begin to want to do it better.

Basically, what you need to do-is shift your focus of attention to action. Intentionally move your attention flashlight from your thoughts to the world around you. And think about what you can and want to do with the surrounding reality.

The beauty of the world is in its responsiveness. As soon as you start making changes even on a beginner level, it will start responding to you with different results. And the more changes you make in the surrounding reality, the more stones you cast away, the more of an imprint you make.

And then you’ll start picking up speed while time for you will be slowing down. Yes, you will be stopping to catch your breath and check with the voices in your head from time to time. But now you’ll be on a next level of the developmental spiral. You’ll move forward to the point where everything seems and feels differently. For everything is perceived differently when you’re in the flow.

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