Happy to be here

At the risk of sounding a little arrogant, I gotta say, my life is great. Overall, I'm pretty darn content. Not in a smug way, just in a happy-to-be-here kinda way. Yep, love being alive, love my family, love my friends, love my job, love where I live, love my country (you non-Aussies gotta visit the Land Down Under soon), love learning, love writing for you and I love what I get to do every day of my life. My passion is my job, so I don't really have a job. Not a real job anyway. Nice. Of course I still have those days - that's called being human - but by and large (whatever that means), I'm happy with most of my 'outcomes' and very cool with where I am on my journey. Still learning, growing, pushing and listening of course... but right now, probably more satisfied and content than I've ever been.

We're not all happy though

In the course of my work, I meet many (many) amazing people who are miserable, frustrated and seemingly lost, living in a reality that they hate, not because they don't have the capacity to change or achieve great things in their life, but simply because they won't use or develop their potential as they could and should. Sure there a plenty of variables and influences over the course of a lifetime which affect our day to day reality, but on some level, success or failure in life usually comes back to what we do with what we've got; how we maximise or waste our talent.

There are a few very familiar stats that seem to have been doing the rounds in self-help circles for years; one of them is this...

"The average person doesn't use more than three percent of their potential in their lifetime"

You've heard that one right? It gets wheeled out in every second seminar, probably thousands of times a day somewhere in the world. Did you also know that 74.6% of all statistics used in self-help seminars are completely fabricated? Most of them, on the spot. Aaaaaah gotcha! Made that up. But feel free to use it in your next presentation anyway - it's probably as accurate as most of the figures that experts use to support their messages. Where on earth that figure (the 3% one) originated from, or how accurate it is, I don't know. How can someone possibly measure (scientifically) a person's potential and then accurately quantify how much of it they don't use!!? And then provide some kind of global average! Gimme a break.

Using what we've got

The answer to that question probably doesn't matter too much, but I guess the important and very relevant point is that the majority of us don't seem to maximize (or even begin to use) most of what we've been born with. We are champions at wasting, not only our time and opportunities, but more significantly, our innate talent and potential. If only we'd use and develop what we've got rather than looking for shortcuts and magic pills, or waiting for our lucky break. Some very talented people have been under-achieving for years because things just haven't worked out for them. Apparently.

A student of success

As someone who has studied successful people for a long time, I can tell you with some level of certainty that, more often than not, the successful person (success of course being different things for different people) is not necessarily the one with all the talent but rather the one who simply uses more of what he/she has been given when compared to what the bulk of the population does (or doesn't do) with their potential. Again, a hard thing to quantify, but you know what I mean. More often than not, the difference between mediocre and amazing results in our life (health, career, relationships, finances, competition) is simply a matter of how much of our ability we actually use.

Fatty McHarper

If (for example) we take the not-very-talented guy (me perhaps), who is constantly looking for, and creating, ways to squeeze every ounce out of his limited ability, and compare him (er, me) with the annoyingly good looking, genetically gifted, incredibly intelligent, walking-talking-mound-of-potential (met plenty of them, even had a few work for me) who happens to be lazy, indifferent and fearful... guess who's gonna create better outcomes? That's right; Fatty McHarper that's who!!

Not because I have more talent, potential or ability (just ask my school teachers and my sports coaches), but because I will consciously and consistently work harder than most to maximise what I've been given. I can't change my level of innate ability but I can consciously choose to do more with what I've got - every day. Much more. Again it comes back to decisions. And attitude and application. I can't change my genetics but I can transform my body by squeezing every ounce out of my DNA by manipulating my lifestyle, diet and exercise regime in a way which is optimal for my body.


People often ask me for advice about creating their own blog. Quite often these people are very talented and creative. They see my site, meet me and say "hey, I might start my own blog; that would be fun". When I tell them what's involved, how many hours I've worked to produce the articles I have (over the last eighteen months) and the amount of hours Johnnie and I spend on the look, feel and functionality of the site... many of these gifted individuals seem to lose enthusiasm kinda rapidly. Funny that. Medically, we call their condition hard-work-itis. It's more prevalent than you might think.

What gets in the way?

The biggest hurdle for many us in our quest to achieve our own version of amazing is not our lack of talent or potential, it is our inability to confront and work through our numerous fears. Too often, we don't even begin to explore our potential because we are too scared; scared of being hurt (emotionally, physically, financially, professionally), scared of losing what we've got, scared of being humiliated, scared of being rejected, scared of upsetting others (welcome to life), scared of failing (a necessary part of success), scared of not 'fitting in', scared of being scared!

Maybe I do know you

More than likely, I don't know you personally (in fact you probably know much more about me than I'll ever know about you) but I'm pretty sure of one thing about you; right now you're not maximising your potential. And I could probably take a stab at a few other things too, like the fact that you're regularly frustrated with parts of your life, periodically depressed or stressed, anxious even, certain challenges scare the crap out of you, you often feel very alone and there have been times when you feel different to other people - weird even. Join the club. The normal club. You're not weird, you're way more normal than you might think.

You're also talented. And full of potential and promise. And no, that's is not some predictable, feel-good, self-help fluff that I'm wheeling out to make you feel better about yourself; it's the absolute truth. But if you're like the majority, then you probably struggle to believe it. Well, you need to start believing it and you need to start doing something about it. Every day. By choice. Stop talking yourself out of the things that you could and should be doing and stop justifying and explaining the existence you're living but don't want. Find a way, instead of finding an excuse and start to tap into that long-neglected, rarely-explored potential. You might shock yourself. Focus on and change the things you can, and don't waste energy on the stuff you can't. Sure, you can talk yourself down and find 'reasons' to keep treading water in a sea of frustration for another ten years, or you can join the minority who actually use their potential and create something pretty spectacular.

Wouldn't that be nice?

Take it from someone who isn't very talented; your best life is closer than you think.
Now, stop getting in your own way!


Group Hug ( )

Author's Bio: 

Craig Harper (B.Ex.Sci.) is the #1 ranked Motivational Speaker (according to Google). He is a qualified exercise scientist, author, columnist, radio presenter, television host and owner of one of the largest personal training centres in the world.

Motivational Speaker - Craig Harper