Fulfilling our potential is core to being human. It has been a constant for centuries and across our existence.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to delve into your own story, to understand the twists and turns of your life in a way that makes you not only more successful but happier? It’s rare that any of us has time to truly reflect on what makes us who we are—and I don’t mean the kind of naval gazing or introspection that leaves us feeling miserable and questioning what life is all about. Rather, I’m talking about a positive, pragmatic, even self-indulgent exploration of what makes you you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you are 20-something, looking at where you want your life to go, 40-something, working out how to create more meaning in the prime years of your career, or 60-something, about to retire and wanting to continue to live with a sense of purpose—all of us can gain from learning more about ourselves.
You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings Learn to use them, and fly.
—Mevlana Jelalu’ddin Rumi, thirteenth century
Fulfilling our potential is core to being human. It has been a constant for centuries and across our existence. It is what has allowed us to thrive as a race, curiously seeking out opportunities, learning more and more, continuing to push boundaries in our societies and our world.
Today, for you, fulfilling your potential is about possibility and growth: exploring your opportunities and place in the world, what makes you uniquely you, how you can soar and shine with your strengths and embrace your weaknesses. It’s about defining your purpose or your dream and living in pursuit of it, whatever that may be: being the best friend and relation you can to those in your life, giving back to your local community, breaking a record, starting a successful business, becoming an Olympic athlete, or taking over as managing director of an international company. It’s about unleashing your personal possi- bility, developing yourself in order to express your individuality, and living your life to the full extent of your capacity.
In order to fulfill your potential, you need to understand your behavior and your motivations, and you need to be aware of why you are the way you are, and the impact that has on other people. You not only need to “define you,” but to define the path you want to take through life, to understand your purpose, and to feel confident in pushing the boundaries. At the same time, you need to be willing to accept setbacks and learn from them. You need to know how to recognize your tipping points, both psychological and physiological, and to be aware how best to respond in order to keep going. You need to understand the massive organ that is your brain, and learn to respect it in order for it to function optimally. To really fulfill your potential, you need to recognize that occasionally pausing, taking a breath, and stepping back from the fast-paced world is not a “nice to have,” but a “have to have.” Finally, you need to understand your environment, to be curious and open to what’s going on around you and tuned into the network in which you exist. All of this will allow you to join the dots on who you are, to create the narrative of your story, memories, and values that make up your identity now. You are valuable as you are, but with an understanding of what your potential is and how you want to fulfill it you will be able to release more of yourself and ultimately will feel a greater sense of accomplishment and be more complete as a person.
About the Author:
Fiona Murden is a Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, best-selling author and stimulating public speaker who has spent the past eighteen years working with leaders of multi-national companies. She is also founder and MD of Aroka Ltd which she has run globally for the past 11 years. Aroka profiles senior leaders in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia Pacific to assess their fit, strengths and the risks in relation to the role that they are being hired for. Her speaking commitments take her into boardrooms as diverse as the Institute of Directors, the Cabinet Office, the Royal College of Surgeons, Lloyd’s of London, The City Women’s Network and Nomura.
Fiona’s book, Defining You was published worldwide in 2018. Defining You opens a window into the process of psychological profiling in business and presents a clear path to improving your effectiveness with immediate actions and tangible tips.