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  • Writer's pictureJonnette Del Mundo

To Reach Your Potential, Think In Terms Of Improvement

Based on John Maxwell's The Success Journey. Here are 10 Principles to becoming a dedicated self-developer. I'll be reflecting on this as I take a break this week.

1. Choose a Life of Growth - When you sincerely dedicate yourself to continual growth, you keep moving forward. Conversely, you start sliding backward as soon as you think you can coast, rest, or maintain what you have already achieved.

2. Growing Today - Procrastination is the death of ambition and dreams. Someday is not a day of the week. Growth is not automatic. Growth today will provide a better tomorrow. Growth is your responsibility - if you don't take that responsibility, growth will never happen.

3. Be Teachable - "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach, said this. He recognized that the greatest obstacle to growth isn't ignorance but knowledge. We become unteachable when we think we know it all and can no longer grow or improve.

4. Focus on Self-Development, Not Self-Fulfillment - Self-fulfillment is about feeling good. With self-development, feeling good is a byproduct, not a goal. Self-development is a higher calling. It's the development of your potential to attain the purpose for which you were created.

5. Never Stay Satisfied with Current Accomplishments - Thinking that you have arrived when you accomplish a goal has the same effect as believing you know it all. It takes away your desire to learn. Successful people know that wins and losses are both temporary. So no matter how successful you are today, stay focused. Stay hungry. Don't settle into the Comfort Zone. From success, move on to more remarkable growth.

6. Be a Continual Learner - To keep moving, become a perpetual learner. You'll have to carve out time for it. As Henry Ford said, "It's been my observation that most successful people get ahead during the time other people waste." Learning something every day is the essence of being a continual learner.

7. Concentrate on a Few Major Themes - Give your time and energy only to the themes at the heart of your life. Keep your focus narrow. Where you focus your attention will depend on your purpose, how you wish to help others and what it means for you to reach your potential.

8. Develop a Plan for Growth - The key to this life is developing a plan: Plan your work and work your plan. Earl Nightingale says, "If a person spends one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject." How you go about it does not matter, but do it daily.

9. Pay the Price - Growth requires discipline. It takes time away from leisure pursuits. It costs money for materials. There's constant change and risks. And it can be lonely. But growth is always worth your price because the alternative is a life of unfulfilled potential. President Theodore Roosevelt stated: "There has not yet been a person in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering."

10. Find a Way to Apply What You Learn - In some way, apply what you learn daily to turn it into a habit instead of a wish. Do this for 21 days, and the routine is yours. As you accumulate growth this way, you always stay energized.


Check out Mike Acker's new book on Public Speaking: Speak with Confidence, published by WILEY.

A breakthrough to develop confidence in speaking, leadership, and life. A follow-up book to his best-selling book, Speak with No Fear.

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