Wherever you are now, you are probably around utilising 20% of your actual potential ...
We didn’t evolve to see the world accurately, we evolved to see it usefully - evolution didn’t optimize you for accuracy, it evolved for utility.
What does that even mean?
It means that we construct the world based on our previous experiences, not on future potential and our experiences are obviously a sum of our own as well as those from the people around us and we have with them.
Think back on your childhood - what did you want to be when you are grown up?
Kids are always reaching to the highest branch visible to them.
No matter what it was, the chances are that someone you liked and really admired for who they were was your inspiration.
A recent study has worked with kids in underprivileged suburbs on their ideal future career.
One kids struggled first but then got excited, smiled and drew a pizza delivery driver and said that's his dream career - becoming a pizza courier.
The teacher was concerned as all the other kids drew images from being a vet, a pilot, a doctor ... so she called his mum who wasn't surprised at all by the outcome.
'It's his uncle Drew that he is probably thinking of.
He is the only one in the family who isn't in jail, doesn't take drugs or drinks and who lives a normal life'
was his mum's answer.
You can put all your energy in dealing with the past or creating the future ...
Because of this conclusion that we construct the world based on our previous experiences and memories which are formed by our emotions and the association we built, it also means that we can constantly update and adapt our perceptions and literally create the future - by designing our lives on our terms.
We can increase or decrease illusions by making things consistent (more or less) with what we expect
Even language is an illusion - light house is different than lighthouse
However, it's important to not that even context is often irrelevant - the key is how your perceptions relate to the past - to HISTORY as this is what keeps us save and our brains are wired to keep us alive.
Change your assumptions and you change your perceptions
- and start to see differently
Your brain does not create meaning by passively receiving content - it makes meaning by physically engaging with the world.
And for that, receiving feedback is critical so that our brain can make and re-make associations and with that, we can take (different) actions,
Key to growth is to constantly updating and redefining reality based on learnings and what we expose ourselves to.
In the second we think differently based on our believes, we can see opportunities that 'weren't there before' (aka we can be creative).
The key to creativity is to CHANGE what’s possible and change your perceptions and assumptions of what’s possible.
And here is where most people get stuck because expanding thoughts means to get rid of biases and assumptions that are based on previous experiences.
When you take a step - what’s the reference to that step? It has to be based on your experiences from your previous step - what happened then and what is the likelihood to have it happen again?
Being creative is like following an algorithm that looks for the next most likely possibility of what's going to happen when we take the next step.
And this is where te rubber hits the road- it all comes down to
Expand your space of possibility by surrounding yourself with those you aspire to be.
In my recent trip to the US, the last part of my travels was being with a mastermind I have been in for a little while. It is a mix of entrepreneurs from all over the world and across all industries.
Whilst there was a handful of ambitious people who have made it in corporate but are now ready to enter entrepreneurship, the majority have between 6-30 businesses and are in their high 8 figures with each of their businesses.
It is NOT the money that inspires me to be part of this group. It is their attitude towards and view of life that I'm truly inspired by.
Hardly any of these guys need to work anymore. However ... they all do and they do it full heartedly.
It was a Melbourne based entrepreneur with 12 businesses who really left a big impression with me.
We got talking because it turned out that starts is days at 2.30am to be in the office by 3am ... (and I thought I was an early bird by getting up at 3.45am ...)
It was one morning that I had to catch a flight to my next destination so I had to train super early and ran into him in the lobby at 2.30am where he was already working away.
'I thought you're starting at 3am - what are you doing already here?' I asked.
'Oh well' ... he said, '
this is just what we do when we care about something. I was excited to write down notes as I had some ideas after my coaching session and I can't wait to make it happen'
This guy doesn't have to prove anything to anyone anymore.
He is well and truely set up for live, not just his own but he is also set up a very prosperous life for his kids, grandkids and their kids.
It's his excitement for challenging his own beliefs and discovering his full potential by exposing himself to new and bigger things that he can see.
This is the power of external feedback and coaching - exposing ourselves to constantly new levels of possibilities by heightening our creativity through feedback and learnings from others who are not occupied with our past.
This is why I'm so passionate about coaching and making it part of not just senior executives lives but part of everyday education.
I currently have the pleasure of coaching a cricket academy on Personal Branding and Career development inside and outside their sport and I can only say - holy moly!
These youngsters are getting exposed to big and critical thinking at such an early age that most of us got to experience in our late 20's or 30's.
Imagine your potential when you are challenged with your own beliefs based on your experience and perception of this world.
What would you do?
Where would you be?
Who would you be if you realise that the ceiling to your success is your own mind?
Petra Zink is a Coach, Speaker and Educator on all things Career & Personal Development, Branding, High Performance and Innovation.
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Petra Zink is a Coach,