Rabbi Samuel M. Silver taught that “the greatest of all miracles is that we need not be tomorrow what we are today, but we can improve if we make use of the potential implanted in us by God.” I love that quote. Unfortunately many look at today and make that the limitation of tomorrow. Yet nothing could be further from the truth!
Change Your Focus
The key is to quite focusing on self-fulfillment and focus instead on self-development. Wherever you are on the continuum of growth, living out your potential, living as the masterpiece God created you to be, make the shift from self-fulfillment to self-development and you will begin to see dramatic changes for the good toward living the life (the purpose) you were meant to live. The byproduct of self-development will be self-fulfillment!
Here are 6 steps that are necessary for you focus on self-development today and begin living as the masterpiece you were created to be:
1. Don’t Get Complacent
Stay hungry. Success, like failures are temporary and you must continue to develop to reach your full potential as a masterpiece. The enemy of tomorrow’s success in your life is today’s success if you allow it to make you complacent. The Apostle Paul wrote: “I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” (Phil. 3:13-14 NLT) Charles Handy said, “It is one of the paradoxes of success that the things and ways which got you there are seldom those things that keep you there.”
2. Don’t Settle Into A Comfort Zone
Enjoy your success for a brief moment, go to dinner, and celebrate! Then move on in the area of self-development for greater growth to release the God-given potential of tomorrow that is deep inside of you. Read it again, Paul said: “I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” (Phil 3:13-14 NLT)
3. Be A Lifetime Learner
When you are a lifetime learner you will discover life is a great adventure!!! Again look at the words of Paul the Apostle: “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.” (Phil 3:12-13 NLT) The best way to keep from becoming satisfied with your current achievements is to be a lifetime learner – a commitment that is rare but one that you are committed to or you wouldn’t be reading Life Palette.
4. Develop a Personal Growth Plan
So simple -yet so powerful and so few actually do this. My staff calls it an IGP (Individual Growth Plan) and we meet monthly to hold each other accountable to the IGP we have committed to. If I could sit with you today and have a personal conversation – could you describe your plan for growth? This is so key for reaching and fulfilling your potential. If you will give one hour a day to the subject of your passion in five years you will be an expert! You have to carve out time and make self-development a priority! Look for useful materials—books, magazines, audio CD’s, videos—and incorporate them into your plan. Exactly how you go about it doesn’t matter, but do it daily.
5. Be Willing To Pay The Price
A few of the key words from Paul: working, focusing, strain. You have to be willing to pay the price. Be one of the few who are willing. Quit looking for a quick fix and begin the daily task of self-development. Growing to reach your potential takes time, it costs, and it will require taking risk and being willing to change. It takes effort, but it is worth it, because the alternative is living a life below your privilege in unfulfilled potential. Our former President, Theodore Roosevelt, said: “There has not yet been a person in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.”
6. Focus On Application
“We must be sure to obey the truth we have learned already.” (Phil 3:16 NLT) Paul understood that to simply acquire knowledge was useless; you must apply it for self-development. Ask yourself: how can you use the knowledge you learn? When can you begin using it? Are there others in your life that can use the knowledge you are gaining for their self-development?
Fred Smith, a great author, speaker, and leadership developer said this: “Something in human nature tempts us to stay where we’re comfortable. We try to find a plateau, a resting place, where we have comfortable stress and adequate finances. Where we have comfortable associations with people, without the intimidation of meeting new people and entering strange situations. Of course, all of us need to plateau for a time. We climb and then plateau for assimilation. But once we’ve assimilated what we’ve learned, we climb again. It’s unfortunate when we’ve done our last climb. When we have made our last climb, we are old, whether 40 or 80.”
Self-development is your highest calling. It is the path to your potential. Commit to reaching your personal potential as the masterpiece God created you to be through self-development. I promise you that you will never regret this decision and it is never too late to get started!
Let me know your thoughts and comments about today’s Life Palette blog below. How are you applying what you are learning? I would love to hear from you.