My biggest passion in life has been pursuing my potential, and also seeing potential in others and helping them to recognize it for themselves and do something about it!
Little did I know there is a whole movement dedicated to Human Potential, that sprung up the 1960s around the concept of cultivating extraordinary potential, which its advocates believe to lie largely untapped in all people.
I whole heartedly agree!
And hence why the idea for a podcast show called UNTAPPED leapt into my mind in late December and simply wouldn’t let me go until I did something about it.
I’m so curious about how to develop more potential, how do we live up to our potential and go beyond it.
What even IS potential? Are there different types of it? Who are the foremost experts in human potential, in personal development and what can you and I learn from them?
Then how can we apply this across all the areas of our lives that matter – relationships, health, wealth, career, personal growth, spirituality and contribution?
I figure I may not be able to become the best in the world, but I can become the best version of myself.
I feel like I’ve given this a great shot over the years, like in 2004 when I took myself on a 10 month journey to understand the weird world of body-sculpting and compete in my first, and only, competition.
Lots of weightlifting, learning, sacrifice and chicken and broccoli later, and there I was standing on stage, all bronzed in a tiny blue spangly bikini costume, holding a trophy for first place in the NZ Regional North Island Novice ‘Tall’ body-sculpting Championships.
Weeks later, less than 10% body fat and hungry as, I was on stage competing at nationals, doing a routine to ‘What a feeling’ from flashdance.
Or in 2007, when I trained with this fantastic group of women called the Sisterhood, and by 6am three time s a week, I was out to on the River Thames paddling with them…and for a few times Kate Middleton – well before she became royalty.
In July that year we smashed a World Record dragon boating across the English Channel to France.
Months later, I was in Brazil playing World Championship Beach Ultimate Frisbee with the Great Britain Women’s team…and somewhere in amongst all the training for that, hot sand under our feet, dancing, caipirinhas and too much sunshine, we won a gold medal!
To 2012 when I decided that cycling 6,500km down the continent of Africa, from Nairobi, Kenya to Capetown, South Africa, was just something that sounded like fun and a great challenge.
Incidents with hyenas in our camp, sightings of elephants running away from us, majestic giraffes on safari, 160km + days of cycling and a new nickname of Flatalie, for the most flat tyres in a given period…later – and that was the experience of a lifetime.
And several more adventures and proud achievements in between, and it’s time for the next evolution.
To untap my potential, to live up to my own high expectations…and go beyond.
And to frankly explore a new level of being and living that stretches me to moments of pure joy, lots of discomfort and a whole lot of fun.
Want to explore human potential with me?
I regularly take on tasks that cause me to grow and stretch. I like being in over my head because it keeps me sharp and pushes me to give my full effort.
But I fear, somewhere in the depths of 2018, I lost sight of that. I wasn’t learning enough, I wasn’t applying new things, I was instead, in some sort of unhelpful holding pattern, waiting for the airport control tower to give me the all clear to take off.
I might even be so bold as to say, I was doing what Seth Godin told me I should never do…waiting for permission to be chosen, instead of choosing myself.
So, I thought to myself, enough is enough. It’s a new year and I’ve got a fresh new perspective, while at the same time being back to my normal self – which is a self I typically quite like!
Here are a few key ways I’m going to live up to and even beyond my potential throughout the course of my life, this podcast, my vlog and as I live write a book on this very topic, that I hope you can apply to.
#1. Focus on today.
Not tomorrow, not yesterday. But right now. It doesn’t matter whether yesterday was good or bad. It’s over. So don’t get stuck there.
And don’t focus on the future too – sure you can think about your big goals and dreams, but more important is what one action can you take today that will make a difference in the future.
Because you can influence what happens right now so give the present day your full attention – for want of sounding cliche, it’s called the present because it’s a gift.
#2. Focus on my priorities.
If I want to continue to untap my potential, I need to focus on my priorities and I can do this by protecting my time and my calendar.
You and I both know that it’s all too easy to have your day dictated to you by someone else’s agenda, requests (some may say demands) or priorities.
No more putting yourself second to others. If we want to be our best selves, in order to impact and help more people, we need to prioritize ourselves first.
Be selective about what you do because you can’t do it all. We all have the same amount of time in the day, it’s not lack of time that’s the problem here, it’s lack of direction and focus.
Choose your priorities and use your precious time to accomplish them.
#3. Focus on my strengths.
I know what I’m really good at. I know what I’m mediocre at. And I know what stuff really doesn’t light me up and feels like a drag.
I could focus on improving the latter two, but I’d prefer to focus on improving the stuff I’m already good at, especially things I’m naturally good at, because those are the areas where I have the potential to become great, or even the ‘best’, if I put in the effort, time and training.
In other words it’s a good use of my time to focus on my strengths.
#4. Focus on my results.
This one has been really apparent to me since I committed to training for triathlons in October 2018.
I’m doing my best not to focus on the professional athlete’s times and results, and just focus on whether my personal results are improving.
And even though I felt like I trained 5-6 days a week for two months for no real gains, it suddenly started showing up in my physique, in my strength and my performance.
It’s easy to become tired or frustrated when you feel you’re working hard, putting in the effort and not seeing the payoff.
But by sticking with it, measuring your progress and continuing to turn up and make small, consistent improvements, you will see the results and payoff.
Of course you need to know what you’re working toward – what result or outcome do you want, what’s the purpose behind it, and what are the processes you’re going to take to achieve it…more on that in future episodes.
By doing this you will stay focused on the big picture – visualizing where you are wanting to get to, without losing focus on the present – and what action you need to take today.
#5. Focus on my positive habits.
I just started listening to my friend Jame’s Clear’s new book Atomic Habits, and aside from it being brilliant, he’s made me realize something.
I’ve been doing a lot of what he’s been doing his whole life too, creating and testing different processes to make me more effective, then showing up and doing them consistently, until they become habits – things I do unconsciously, that really work.
As James states:
“The effects of small habits compound over time. For example, if you can get just 1 percent better each day, you’ll end up with results that are nearly 37 times better after one year.”
And this nugget:
“Habits are not the only thing that influence your success, but they are probably the most important factor that is within your control.”
Which leads me to….
#6. Focus on what I can control.
I realized late last year, when many things were turning to custard – predominantly in my business and therefore finances, that I’d been focusing too much on things that were out of my control.
You can’t set goals or intentions that aren’t directly within your control – you just can’t, and not be disappointed if things don’t come off.
So focus on what you can control, and set daily actions or weekly goals or monthly intentions to achieve those things that don’t have any external influence.
I have Life Pilot – our life planning tool, to thank for helping me do that way more effectively – every day, week, month, quarter and beyond.
For example I set a priority for how much time I dedicate to studying, painting or triathlon training and I schedule it in my calendar.
I can’t, however, control for the weather, for my a friend being late, or for their being a power outage and therefore no wi-fi.
So with these in mind, I bring you UNTAPPED. The podcast that will tap into how I can live up to my potential, and even go beyond it.
I’ll be doing the research and experimenting on myself, to bring you what works, what doesn’t and what just feels good, fun, silly or outrageous.
So are you with me?
Make sure you subscribe to my podcast in iTunes and other great places.
I fund this podcast’s content, production and publishing. If you enjoy the podcast please become an UNTAPPED supporter!