February 14, 2017
From the Road onto the Court (Part II)
February 16, 2017

The Road to Maximum Potential (Part 1)

Sharpen the Saw

I believe an organized work and home life increases one’s ability to achieve more in less time and with less stress. We will often hear the claim if you are organized, you can reach your potential! This claim excites me, and I want to go over productivity tools that will help you do just that.

Interesting, when I really started thinking about my most effective productivity solutions that I believe help push me to my potential, it occurred to me they were not digital. My best weapons actually come in the form of mindset and habits. Don’t get me wrong, I love my OneNote, Evernote, and apps. Yes, they organize me, but I believe it is inner work that stretches me to my potential and beyond more than apps!

Growth Mindset via Awareness

Barrie Davenport, best selling author and coach, provides insight on a growth mindset and offers six suggestions to help us develop this practice. After reviewing her suggestions, I see they centre around building greater awareness of ourselves; paying attention to and examining our reaction and attitude in various situations.

In the context of reaching our potential, I believe awareness and introspection are good start, but I would like to offer a few more strategies that have benefited my growth mindset. I draw these strategies from two sources, Stephen Covey and the Landmark Forum. I will cover my insight in two blog post, starting here with Stephen Covey’s timeless bestseller:

Covey’s Powerful Lessons

I read Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” 30 years ago, and three of the habits wired my brain for a growth mindset. They are:

  1. Habit #1 – Be proactive
  2. Habit #2 – Think with the end in mind
  3. Habit #7 – Sharpen the Saw

Be Proactive

Covey describes the habit of being proactive as making the decision to improve your life and focusing on what you have influence over. I will always remember my dad telling me: “Your education is your golden ticket. You will have more choices in life with higher education.” This advice was coming from a man who had just a grade 7 education! Life was not easy for us, and I considered school my life preserver. I was being proactive because I was doing something that would improve my life, rather than get into shananigans; I was focused on what I had influence over. Can you think of ways you demonstrate this habit?

Think with the End in Mind

When I went to University, my cohort voted me as the person who would be most likely to go through the grocery store doing a SWOT analysis. That makes me sound like a weirdo, but there is truth to that. Habit #2 is a big driver for the decisions I make day to day. I ask, “If I go down this path, will it get closer to where I want to go?” This mental process does have me looking at Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. I feel it is important to look at the return on investment, and that does not just mean monetary. It could be general well being. This habit requires awareness because you need clarity around your values.

Sharpen the Saw

This is my favourite habit. I know I can drive myself to exhaustion, but this habit ensures I rejuvenate myself mentally, spiritually, and physically. I personally do this through practicing yoga, and by escaping to nature in my RV. I find the learning part draining, but when I balance it with downtime, I fuel awareness and greater potential. At the yoga studio I practice at, I am reminded of the benefits of rejuvenation as this quote is emboldened on the wall, “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” — The Bhagavad Gita.

I believe the influence of Covey at a young age helped me make lemonade from lemons. It sparked a growth mindset that made me open to furthering my personal development with Landmark Education. The education was profound. I share three growth mindset shifters from Landmark that put me in extreme productivity in my next blog post, “Get in the Court for Productivity.”

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