1. Positive Self Image
For the vast majority of humans, there’s a gap between what we are, and what we can be. The greatest hindrance towards reaching our full potential is ourselves. It is our limiting self-beliefs. It is our cultural expectations. It is our inability to deal with adversity in a productive way. For instance, when you were young, somebody may have called you “dumb”. And now as an adult you still believe yourself to be dumb so you do not even attempt to accomplish tasks you deem out of your intellectual grasp. But being dumb is just a thought you have of yourself that you absorbed from the thought of another; and you allowed that person’s thoughts to become your truth. Thinking you are “dumb” is just that… a thought. It is not your reality, but you have made it into a self-fulfilling prophecy because of negative thoughts about yourself. But you can choose to have different thoughts of yourself. When you are upset, depressed, unhappy etc., you have to realize that oftentimes it is your thoughts about the situation and not the true “you”. These thoughts can only hurt you if you allow them. A group of people laughing in a corner may give you anxiety because you have convinced yourself they are laughing at YOU. A person does not see you and neglects to hold the door open, but you're convinced that they have done so intentionally out of spite. These are falsities built upon by a lack of self worth. What if that same person who called you "dumb" all those years ago had instead referred to you as "smart and inquisitive"? How would that have shaped your feelings of yourself? How would that have shaped your reality? Tell yourself good things now. Removing the negative notions about oneself frees the individual to pursue their highest selves because the barriers of “lack” and “not being good enough” are removed. Condition yourself to like and appreciate YOU.
2. Be Productive with Your Time
After negative self-image, wasteful time is perhaps the greatest obstruction to reaching our potential. The world is now full of smart phones, televisions, happy hours, and traffic. We must fill every chasm of the day with outward stimulation and cognitive distraction. Strolling down the street is no longer desired; we now must play a game on our phones as we walk. Creative inspiration sent from the Divine gets stifled out in favor of reality television. Simple tasks that can be accomplished quickly are prolonged in search of the proper music to accompany the tasks. We waste numerous hours commuting to mundane jobs, in which we waste years working at, for bosses we do not like; and then we allow these jobs to define us. You are much more than your job. And you were not put on Earth to merely work. Cultivate time throughout the day for your own self interests and spirit. The greatest work is to work on oneself.
3. Connect with People
As previously stated in the article Love and Health, the greatest determinant for longevity is having a positive social circle. As humans we have an innate desire to connect with others. It is one of the reasons social media has blown up so much. It is one of the reasons we enjoy hugs, handshakes, high fives, and sex. But the days of the tribe and village are nearly extinct. Too many humans now view each other as competition instead of strategic partners on the life journey. Furthermore, this imagined competition and the need to feel superiority over others plants the seeds of bigotry and intolerance that plague humankind, and negatively affects nearly all facets of human life. What a waste of time hating and disliking others is! The individual who ambitiously tries to reach their full potential will seek out diverse peoples, philosophies, and mentalities because the higher self can accelerate at a much faster rate with such stimuli and information. The one who only seeks out those who look and think like them will most likely progress at a slower pace. Perhaps it is possible to reach one’s potential as a lone wolf, but a positive community, ability to see the big picture, and appreciation for differences can draw out gifts, talents, and inspirations that have lain dormant without the diverse stimuli. Even the most introverted of us receives inspiration from our fellow human, and closing the gap between our current selves and greatest selves can be hastened with helping hands.