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Many highly motivated professionals spend a lot of time thinking about achieving more success. They want a better job title and additional responsibilities seeking higher financial rewards. 

This is all good, except when they get there, they often find that their dissatisfaction in their career has increased. In my MBA research, I confirmed this where job satisfaction decreased as an individual’s upward mobility engaged. 

Their new roles no longer fulfilled them. Why? Their definition of success is missing a holistic perspective of their life. 

You can’t realize your potential if you are unaware of your purpose, talents, gifts, and passions. 

Do you believe you have more potential to contribute and achieve with a higher level of fulfillment?

Most people will say “YES.” 

But a lot of them don’t know where to start. So the question is: how do we tap into our full potential and purpose?

This is a vast topic that we need to understand on several levels. But let’s start by learning and understanding the statistics.

  • Close to 80% of individuals dislike what they do for a living, from a feeling of mild irritation to downright loathing.
  • Over 70% of people have no conscious idea of their Personal Style, strengths, values, interests, gifts, or talents.
  • Up to 95% of illness is lifestyle-related.
  • The majority of individuals don’t have any clear vision for their future.

So, where do we start the change?

While interviewing my colleague Richard Knowdell (late), a 40-year career-development professional, I asked him this:

With all the career-development resources available, why do 80% of people still not enjoy their work?”

His answer? People are unwilling to do the work or invest in their professional development to achieve growth.

Most will spend more time and money on entertainment than their development.

But this is not how you find satisfaction or fulfillment. If we want to achieve a sense of professional satisfaction and fulfillment, it isn’t about having or achieving more but realizing our full potential to do what we love doing best.

And to realize our full potential, we must commit to working on ourselves.

Why? Because without self-awareness, we will be unable to make intentional or purposeful decisions.

Here are some tips on beginning working on yourself:

  • Know your Personal Style pattern. If you are not sure what yours is, then complete our Personal Style Indicator to be clear about your preferences and how important they are to all your choices in life.
  • Be clear about your core values. In five separate studies, the process of clarifying and documenting values produced these remarkable results:
    • increased confidence;
    • reduced stress while boosting wellness; and
    • improved objectivity and enhanced decision-making capabilities while amplifying resilience to challenges and problems.

Our Values Preference Indicator is a strong start for that clarification.

  • Be clear about your gifts, talents, and abilities. These are different measures and elements. The Quest for Purpose Journal provides you with a roadmap for the process and how you can get to your next level.

With that backdrop, let me outline a model to help you…

… live on purpose,

… realize your potential, AND

… provide a way to see and nurture the potential and sense in others.

Although there are many factors, I will reference two elements that impact your ability to realize your potential.

The first factor is your state of joy and happiness.

It will be impossible to realize your full potential if you are miserable, down, and unhappy. That is not to say every waking moment will be filled with joy but are you feeling grounded and centered? The now is the only place any of us can ever live, so why not enjoy it?!

Consider these:

  • A wave of research has been done in the area of mindfulness and the importance of being present in the now. And the results identified a wide range of benefits in different areas of psychological health, including how it significantly decreases anxiety, depression, rumination, and emotional reactivity. Researchers have also found that mindfulness increases well-being, positive affect, and concentration, among other things.
  • A key element to consider is your mindset or the way you experience life. . . your level of happiness. All your actions and thoughts have an impact; it is impossible to realize your potential unless you are in a place of contentment.

Ask yourself this: Am I happy at the moment?

And if I were to ask the people who work with you and your family and friends, what would they say?

When people interact with you, are they better for it, or does your state cause others to want to leave you as soon as possible so your negativity will not pollute them?

We choose how we will respond and react to what life hands us at every given moment.

Are you intentional about your joy and happiness?

A business owner once shared with me that his business had become a burden a couple of years ago. 

Initially, his enterprise had been fun, exciting, and fulfilling, but he shifted his focus to what the experts said he needed to do as his business grew. 

Work from a  business plan, put systems to support the business, study client trends, and more. These things are essential, but they had become his primary focus rather than listening to his heart with the reasons he started business in the first place.

He had lost the vision that his efforts were supposed to be directed towards being a fun way to pay his university tuition, support him, and help others.

So he shifted his mindset.

He stopped trying hard and began living in the moment instead of worrying about the plans and strategies that he needed to do.

The result? His business grew by over 400% that year!

If individuals are miserable, whining, and constantly complaining (showing a lack of joy and happiness), people won’t want to hang out, support, or help. They won’t be attracted to them. 

Unhappiness is contributing to our increased stress and illness levels. Over 50% of the members of the global workforce consider themselves highly stressed.

If you are not joyful now, you do not realize your full potential.

The second factor is whether or not you have a future vision.

Recently, there have been suggestions that smart goals do more harm than good. However, having a vision is critical to realizing our potential.

There are a few things we should keep in mind:

  1. Vision should be an active-tense condition that is always in play and working to achieve.
  2. Hope (which always refers to the future) is one of the most powerful words, concepts, and conditions. Hope drives individuals to do and become more. Always keep hope alive.

Many of you know Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, lived in German prison camps during WWII. 

In his book, Frankl states that he survived and others did not survive because of his daily vision (hope) of getting back together with his family. That gave him inspiration, determination, and strength when others were in despair. His statement that “others can take everything from me, but they cannot take my vision or dreams” is one we can all embrace. 

What will inspire us to become more if we have no future vision?

For us as human beings, realizing our calling, purpose, and potential takes us to a place of fulfillment and encouragement. 

Everything that the human race has ever achieved was envisioned or dreamed first. The vehicle you drive, and the media device you are reading this blog post began as an idea, someone’s vision. 

So, don’t be afraid to have yours.

Here are some questions I would like you to consider and answer:

  • What are your visions and dreams?
  • What learning do you require?
  • Who would you need to become to achieve this?
  • Where do you want to make a difference?
  • How would you like to be remembered?
  • What is your legacy?

Most people are not clear on the answers to these questions. 

As mentioned earlier, it takes effort and time to seek answers. Not everyone is committed to the process. But when you take the first step and begin, everything else follows.

In realizing your potential, the factors of joy and vision merge to create a mindset. The Potential Grid below outlines the state generated when we integrate these factors. 

Where do you place yourself on The Potential Grid?

Is that where you would like to stay?

I encourage you to use this simple grid to consider what you need to do to realize your potential and help others see their potential.

Review the Action Steps to help you realize your true potential.

The achievement of real joy at the moment at a sustainable state is possible only when individuals consider their spiritual nature/source and seek the true meaning and purpose of their life.

Do you realize your true potential?

Action Steps 

Realizing Your Potential: What It Means To Live On Purpose

  1. Are you willing to invest both time and money in your development? Are you ready to make the changes required to realize your potential?
  2. Upon thoughtful reflection, are you living in a state of joy and happiness at the moment? Yes? No? What would others say about you? Are you a person others like to be around, or do you drain their energy?
  3. If you are not joyful, what choices do you have to make to shift into that state while living in the moment?
  4.  True purpose and joy are spiritual matters. If you have not already done so, take the time to investigate this further, so your joy is sustainable and self-generating.
  5. To realize your potential, you must know yourself. Complete CRG’s Personal Style Indicator (PSI) and Values Preference Indicator (VPI).
  6. Read Why Aren’t You More Like Me?” It provides a roadmap for understanding yourself and others. The book will assist you in embracing your strengths and help you be intentional in realizing your potential.
  7. Do you have a clear vision of your future and your purpose in life? If not, consider using The Quest For Purpose Journal to discover your life purpose and confirm your gifts, talents, and abilities.

 Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!


Ken Keis