1) Make mindful decisions: Stressful, in-the-moment decisions are easy to make because they give you an immediate reward. They are easy because it’s much more difficult to empathize, take into consideration the other person’s desires, or to simplify a situation. For me, the best way to be mindful of my decisions is to take into consideration of what I’m feeling at that moment, the people involved, and the desired outcome. It requires you to pause before reacting. That pause can make a tremendous difference in the outcomes you create. Developing the habit of making mindful decisions is tough at first, but over time and with practice, you will begin to notice a difference in your life, how you feel, and the results you create.
2) Self-awareness: Self-awareness is about understanding yourself — your emotions, thoughts, behavior, habits, etc. It all starts with being aware. Think about the person you were a few years ago and look at yourself now. How much of a difference is there? How much growth? If you see the improvements, that is your true potential being developed. If you don’t see any (which is probably not true, you just need to dig deeper), then that may be a sign to try something different and to break out of your comfort zone.
Self-awareness is also about personal responsibility. It’s about being aware of the roadblocks prevalent in your life — whether you choose to remove them or not is up to you. Not taking the time to remove them would be doing a great disservice, squandering your true potential. To exercise your self-awareness, pay attention to the decisions you make, your habits, behaviors in certain situations, and your thoughts. The goal is to become fully aware of yourself, and in turn, be accountable in being a better person than yesterday.
3) Learning: For a long period of my life, a lot of learning took place only in the classrooms. This is bare minimum. We live in the Information Age. To be able to learn and study anything is right at our fingertips. I believe that in order to build our true potential, we must continue feeding our mind different kinds of knowledge, perspectives, opinions, etc. — get the full spectrum, not just the side you want to hear.
Everyone has different ways of learning. To learn about yourself and the world you live in, I find it important to extract a lesson from every situation that you were a part of, no matter how big or small. If you were on a long line, what lesson can you learn in this situation? That frustration and anger doesn’t work with a clerk? That patience and preparation are your best allies when trying to accomplish this task? All too often I think people repeat these processes in their life without ever learning anything from it. Experience something, and learn from it to the best of your ability.
4) Desire: The desire to be better than yesterday, the desire to be a better human being, may not be there at first. Some people don’t even care about that. If you’re reading this, you’re probably not the type. When I felt lost during community college, the desire to be great was always there, but I just didn’t know where or how to start. When I became aware of this, I had to set a goal for myself to accomplish something, anything. That’s when I started to live and breathe the phrase, “Knowledge is power.” This motivated me to start reading books of all kinds, simply because I knew there was so much learn (I still feel this way).
Finding the desire may be tough at first, but to assist you in developing that mindset, think about the outcome, the end-result. If you harness the desire to be great, the desire to be better than yesterday, do you think there are positive benefits when you slowly walk this path? Or is it completely irrelevant to your life’s endeavors?
This new year, make a decision to live to your true potential.
Founder – Y2S Yoga