I once read that if you tell a man there are 200 billion stars in the universe, he will believe you; but if you tell him a bench has just been painted, he has to touch it to make sure.
Just because someone tells us something, that doesn't mean it is true. We should be curious and test it out for ourselves.
The world is filled with people who never fulfill their professional potential because someone said they couldn't do it. Unfortunately, there will be more people telling us why we can't than those cheering us on. It seems like any time we stick our heads up above the crowd, someone sticks it to us with negativity.
The greatest crime in the world is not developing our potential.
If we did all the things we are capable of, we would truly be astounded. Almost everything that has been achieved today, someone said was impossible yesterday.
Take time to think of all the reasons why you can. You don't have to be the person everybody thinks you should be.
Are you satisfied that you are all you can be? I'm sure you have heard the saying, "People don't plan to fail -- they just fail to plan."
Figure out where you want to be. Make a plan, set a goal and go for it.
"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan," Eleanor Roosevelt once said.
Look at your goal as being at the top of a staircase, and you are on the ground. Don't just stand there. Take that first step, and then keep climbing. If you don't keep moving, you can't reach the top. If you don't reach the top, you will have climbed to greater heights than had you never tried.
Amidst the negativity of our daily bump and grind, it seems difficult at times to remember the potential that lies within each of us.
So, here are some strategies to help remind and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
* Reflect on your professional life: Commit to 15 to 20 minutes of quiet reflection every day. Get away from all the distractions. Open your mind and think, analyze, consider, ponder, contemplate, imagine, visualize and dream. Write down your realizations and epiphanies and review them often.
* Become an optimist: This is key. Every negative thought you replay in your mind holds you back. Liberate yourself from other's negativity. Give your positive emotions a job. You have to think anyway, so why not think positive? Imagine and expect the best and mostly, that's what you'll get.
* Define your goals well: Written goals give you direction and purpose. Keep them realistic, attainable, but lofty -- to stretch you outside your comfort zone. Prioritize, set achievement dates and keep track of your progress. Focus on finding your goals, then focus on achieving them.
* Build on your strengths: Success comes easier and quicker when you focus on your strengths and delegate in those areas where you are less capable. Your natural talents contain the seeds of your greatest potential accomplishments. This is where self-knowledge pays off in big dividends.
It has been said, "People are like guided missiles. Without a target, they wander aimlessly across the horizon and eventually self-destruct."
To reach our full potential we have to set goals, go after them utilizing our strengths and believing in ourselves even when nobody else does.
Brad Larsen is a local life coach and corporate consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.