Are you stuck in a gap between where you are currently and where you ultimately want to be?
The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle supported a definition of success based on arête, or excellence in all things, whether it be academics, athletics, or the arts. From Aristotle’s viewpoint, every individual can attain excellence because we achieve it by fulfilling our true potential. Reaching our full potential is hopefully something we all strive for as human beings.
Frosty Westering taught a model he called the Potential-Performance Gap. Our performance level is where we are currently at, and our potential level is what we are capable of achieving. The Potential-Performance Gap then lies in the space between where we are right now and where we ultimately want to be. But how do we know the true limits of our capabilities?
The truth is we do not know what we are ultimately capable of achieving. And I’m afraid many of us sell ourselves short when it comes to potential. We are hesitant to put ourselves on the line because we are frightened we might fail, or what other people may say about us, or we will not be able to handle the pressure.
So how do we close the gap? According to motivational speaker Les Brown, we need three things to close the gap: faith, patience, and consistent action.
It can be a terrifying prospect for us to be unaware of the ultimate limit of which we are capable. We must have faith. Not merely confidence in ourselves and what we can accomplish, but also faith God will lead us down the correct path. We also need faith everything will come to us at the right time.
When I sit and reflect, I think it is pretty arrogant we think we know the who, what, when, where, and why of how events should unfold and play out in our lives. One of the very most important things we can do in our lives to propel us even farther is to release the control we think we have over events in our lives. Living by faith can be scary, but it should also be exciting because there is an opportunity in every difficulty and there is a lesson to learn from every situation we encounter. One of these areas we often want to have the most control over is the “when.”
Having patience has a lot to do with having an understanding of lag time. The work we put in today may not have an impact on the results right away. It could be days, weeks, months or years down the road before the training and skill development manifests itself in the form of verifiable results. This concept is hard to grasp and is related to the idea we can only make 1% improvement each day.
The results we see on television and the internet are often years in the making. The simplest little things done consistently over time can have a significant impact. But, again, we are not in control of the “when.” We get in trouble when we start comparing our timeline to someone else's and wondering why we are not able to achieve at the level someone else does. At this point, we may say if we only need faith and patience then all we need to do is sit around and wait for God to drop our destiny in our lap.
Steve Jobs said we can only connect the dots when we look back into the past. We cannot connect the dots looking into the future. But if we don’t act, then there are no dots to connect. Even committing to the wrong thing is better than doing nothing because at least we learned from it. We don’t learn anything from doing nothing.
We must act, and we must act decisively every day. Our present understanding of the vision we have for our life steers our action, but ultimately we need to know someone who is a lot wiser than us may have a better plan in mind.
So we need to have faith we are ultimately capable of much more than we think we are. We need to have patience as there may be some lag time involved and everything comes to us at the right time. And we need to take consistent action to strive for arête in everything we do.
Faith, patience, and consistent action will not only close the gap on our potential but will help us soar to new heights beyond our greatest dreams!
The Strange Secret of the Big Time by Frosty Westering
Les Brown: I Am Going to Make It by Gerry Pean (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l69MkRk0fIM)
Unbroken-Motivational Video by Mateusz M (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26U_seo0a1g)
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