- September 19, 2018
- Posted by: erickruger
- Category: CEO Ascent
Sure, I might be showing up as the current best version of me. But am I showing up as the best version of who I want to be?
This is something I have been pondering now for a while. The thought originated with me after a workshop I did recently. In the workshop I talk about the high-performance state of mind and suggest two lenses through which we can view high-performance:
1. The lens of productivity.
The dictionary defines high-performance as “operating at a higher standard”. This means faster, better, stronger. It’s doing more in less time. It’s maximising output. Its achievement orientated.
There is nothing wrong with this lens. However, if this is the only lens we use then we may wake up one day to, like Andre Agassi, realise that “winning changes nothing”. In our pursuit of success, we often lose track of what really matters to us. We get caught up in what society conditions us to want or what our emotional selves tell us that we want.
So, I propose a second complementary lens;
2. The lens of potential.
When high-performance is viewed through this lens the question that you should be asking of yourself is “Am I showing up to my full potential in every moment?”. Most likely you aren’t. It’s not your fault. Most of us aren’t very intentional with the way we live our lives.
There are many reasons for this but a big contributor is that we flick on the autopilot setting. I am a big fan of routine, but if not managed well it has its downsides. The biggest downside is that when your life is a routine, your thinking and behaviour follows suit. And so we end up living an automated life instead of a deliberate one.
From the dictionary, potential is “a latent excellence or ability that may or may not be developed”. Emphasis on the “may or may not be developed” part. It’s not a question of whether you have the ability or excellence inside of you. It’s a question of whether it will be expressed.
To that point full potential can only be expressed when you are living in accordance with your values. For a long time, I shied away from incorporating values in to my life. It seemed a bit ‘fluffy’. I was young and simply wanted the cool time-management techniques and hacks that would make me achieve, but once I decided to uncover my values and allow them to guide my thinking and decision-making many things in my life became instantly clearer and easier.
Now, I feel that in every interaction with the universe and the people around me I can better express my potential and live a more fulfilled life.
Combining these two lenses of high-performance brings more depth to life. Think about those 3-d glasses you use while watching a movie. The blue and red tinted glasses on their own does not change your depth perception. It’s only when you have both eyes open, looking through both lenses, that the picture you are viewing truly comes to life.
However, I want to drive home a very important point. You are more likely to unlock productivity by focusing on your potential than you are by focusing on productivity first.
Productivity alone only produces output. More. Better. Faster.
If you only pursue this you might, like many successful people do, find that it does not always lead to fulfillment.
So, what if we flipped the script and pursued potential first?
Moment to moment asking “ Am I truly living up to my potential?”
And perhaps even more important, “Am I living up to the potential of who I want to be in the future?”
Acta non verba,