When I created the IP Movement, I envisioned accompanying people on their path to discovering their full potential. I wanted everyone to become the architect of their own life, both professionally and personally.
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you’ve probably noticed that I share reflections and exercises to become “IP”; that is to say, to be the architect of your destiny. My greatest wish is to make people want to unlock their potential, to live fully, and to excel. Because the human being, even one with ordinary abilities, is capable of accomplishing extraordinary things.
Beyond your ability to contemplate, express your emotions and ideas, behave and act, you have another power that brings it all together: the meta-power of choice. Choice is the “master power.”
It is when you make choices that you really live. In making these choices, you become the architect of your life. You are not in control of yourself until you fully accept your powers. Doing this means taking full responsibility for you.
But before you can say “yes” to choices, you need to say “no” to all the negative things that interfere. Let go of the past and past regrets. Do this and you will release a new energy to focus on your future potential.
Training in sustainable leadership and ontological coaching are useful as you journey to achieve your full potential, because they allow us to step back, to change perspective and, above all, to reconsider our interpretations in relation to our life—and thus open up new opportunities.
As Socrates said, the body is the temple of the spirit. The work begins with the state of excellence that comes with good posture; so try this exercise: Extend your arms up and open to the sky, held slightly wider than your stance, and open a. Your ears (to listen to) b. Your heart (to experience) and c. Your mind (to learn). For five minutes, inhale and exhale (aim for six breaths per minute). Think about being more receptive to new ideas, unexplored avenues, and untapped potential.
Here are five other techniques to practice to help you unlock your potential:
1- Change your perspective
Some events are life changing and others are completely futile. When confronted with a difficult situation, distance yourself by putting yourself in the role of the observer; ask yourself what the impact of this situation could be in five or 10 years. After all, we tend to exaggerate. An argument with a colleague today, a traffic jam, or perhaps a missed opportunity … How often do we imagine that the absolute worst will result from that one bad situation, when actually it’s likely not as dire or dramatic as you fear, and likely won’t mean anything in a year from now! So, change your perspective (your interpretation) and you’ll open the way to new opportunities and avoid self-sabotage.
Consider this quote from Unalala Bwana: “The end of the world for a caterpillar is for the butterfly the sky that opens.” Everything is a matter of perspective.
2- Be assertive
Though the term “assertiveness” means different things to different people, a common thread among people considered to be assertive is that they know how to stand up for themselves and say what they want to say to others without attacking. Assertiveness is a relational skill that allows you to express your disagreement without it turning into a quarrel or dispute. These people are able to depersonalize, show that they understand the point of view of the other, and then point out a compromise pathway.
It can certainly be frustrating to listen to people express ideas that are diametrically opposed to yours. But think of it another way: You have much more to learn from others than you can learn yourself. If you stay open to different ideas and make the effort to understand their point of view, this can help to open up your perspective.
3- Refuse defeatism
What would you be able to accomplish if you were not afraid to fail? It’s a safe bet that you would then be completely in tune with your true nature. So why spend your life … missing out on your life? Say “no” to fear and defeatism. These will paralyze you and prevent you from becoming the person you really want to be.
When you accept defeat, perhaps you were just one small step away from success. Your potential is unlimited, and waiting for you to operate at full capacity. And remember: there is no failure point, there are only many steps on the way to results.
4- Never give up
Do one thing that is close to your heart. If you fail, try again. Do not give up! People often abdicate too quickly, without having given everything. Imagine if, when you were learning to walk, your parents encouraged you to give up after a hundred falls … You’d still be crawling today! Keep this in mind the next time you are thinking about giving up.
On the other hand, if it’s obvious that repeating the same mistakes is not getting you anywhere – realize it! Don’t collapse like the fly that dies, exhausted, from hitting the window over and over. Change strategy. Just because you are not arriving at an end result, it doesn’t mean the result is not possible; it may simply mean that you need to find another route to get there.
5- Take the time to know you
Who are you really? What do you want in life? What interests you? What makes you deeply happy?
Ask yourself these questions several times, and put the answers in perspective relative to your current life. Do you find yourself where you want to be? Are your daily activities reflective of your passions? Are your wishes and actions going in the same direction? By challenging what you really want to have, what you do for it, and what you are, you will know if you are actually in harmony with yourself. And if you’re not, take action.
As Bernard Werber said: “For now, the human world belongs to those who ask why. But inevitably the future belongs to those who wonder how.”
Stop being a spectator of your life; you can be the main player. You — and only you — can be the architect of your future!