What is ‘Maximum Natural Potential’?
In a nutshell, reaching your Natural Maximum Potential is about living your life to the very best of your ability. It’s about being the best version of yourself in every area of your life, within the scope of your personal capabilities and available resources.
Why the ‘Natural’ part is so important.
This is the most important part, because it keeps you grounded. It also keeps you healthy, both physically and mentally, because you retain a focus upon yourself and your own achievements without making unrealistic comparisons with others. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to push your own boundaries, as how else will you fully know what you’re capable of, but you have to be realistic.
Never be tempted to draw comparison with a media-hyped athlete or celebrity. They are portrayed as an ‘ideal’, when the reality of them as a whole is usually less than impressive. That’s not to say you can’t learn from successful people, but bear in mind that their level of skill and opportunity is different than yours.
Keeping it ‘Natural’ means that you get to push yourself as far as you can, but remain able to recognise when you hit your limit, and don’t use artificial means to go beyond it. Many people these days sadly suffer from a range of body image issues, resorting to extreme measures in pursuit of a distorted version of ‘perfection’. Some take an assortment of drugs, to boost performance and build muscle. Others embark upon severe diets and undergo surgical procedures. The physical and psychological impact can be severe.
How to work towards your ‘Max’.
To fully reach your Max, you need to achieve balance in your life. You could have the best job in the world, and neglect personal relationships. A great family life, but no time for yourself. A wonderful social circle, but limited finances. Strive to be as fulfilled as possible in every area of your life. Remember to forget any notions of perfection, and work towards a level that’s right for you. Bear in mind that some areas will be in better shape than others, and some may not be conducive to change until you’ve attended to others first. You’ll soon learn to prioritise.
Aim to be good at many things
Who cares if you never get to be the absolute best at any one thing. Even world champions lose their titles eventually. Instead, aim to be good at many things. Learn to listen to others, and communicate well. Develop patience and understanding, resilience in the face of adversity, strength in the presence of conflict. Embrace knowledge, practice grace under pressure, take up a new sport or hobby; the list is endless. In fact you’ll never know how good you are at something unless you try it, and if you don’t like something….stop.
Step outside your comfort zone
Being the best you can possibly be means having ambition, and the desire to achieve it. This is personal to you, and nothing to do with what anyone else thinks. Perhaps you want financial security, to be the best parent/partner/sibling you can, to express yourself creatively or physically; it doesn’t matter so long as it’s important to you.
There are many ways to reach your goal, and your final path may not be the one you originally embarked upon. In other words your fulfilment in life may not come from anything you once held to be important. Ambition is important, and key to driving you forward; but as long as you take a progressive approach and don’t overreach, then you get to experience all the small successes along the way. Aim high, but don’t rush to get there, as this road leads to disappointment. Continually pushing your own limits and stepping outside of your comfort zone, exposes you many more opportunities and experiences than you’d otherwise have had. This is how we grow, don’t hold yourself back.
How do you know when you’ve reached your full potential.
When this happens, you’ll simply plateau, and maintain the level you’re at. Understand that this happens to everybody. The trick at this point is to diversify, try something new, and push yourself in another area. I guarantee you that the sum total of your achievements will add up to something pretty damn impressive. In effect you’re building a toolbox of skills and resources, that you can draw upon at any time.
Your Personal Max
In all honesty you may never truly realise your own Maximum Potential. Because what tends to happen when you get into this way of thinking, is that you’re always setting new targets, and reaching new heights. Remember, it’s not how good you are in any one area that matters, rather it’s the sum total of all your skills and talents, and how much of yourself you put into them.
When you can honestly say you’ve given everything you’ve got, then you’re living to your Maximum Natural Potential.