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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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5 Rules of the Road for Reaching Your Full Potential

May 2, 2013, 12:00 AM
Rulesa

"This is not a "touchy-feely book," says Robert Kaplan, referring to his latest work, What You're Really Meant to Do: A Roadmap for Reaching Your Unique Potential. Think of it instead as a workout. "I'm trying to get you in shape and dust off some of the muscles you haven't used for reaching your potential," says the former Goldman Sachs vice chairman. 

Kaplan's book is very much about process, or the specific steps that are required to take action. 

Watch the video here:

In order to reach your potential, here are the rules of the road that you must follow:

1. Believe That Justice Will Prevail

What happens if you don’t believe justice will prevail? Simply put, you’ll get jaded and cynical. When your cynicism persuades you to give up on your internal moorings and

convictions, you start obsessing about pleasing other people and meeting their expectations. You get away from understanding yourself and knowing what you believe in—and you start to make poor decisions.

2. Beware of Conventional Wisdom

Conventional wisdom is, in a nutshell, the prevailing views of others. Although this wisdom is all around us, it is frequently dead wrong—particularly as it relates to you. It tends

to be backward looking, and it fails to take into account your distinctive attributes and experience.

3. Act Like an Owner of Your Life and Your Choices

Managing your life and your career is 100 percent your responsibility. Do you act like it?

You are not a passive bystander in your own life.

4. Be Realistic, and Adapt to Circumstances

You can’t let day-to-day setbacks—even major ones—knock you completely off the path of reaching your potential. Constantly fighting fires can become a way of life, and constantly dealing with short-term crises can create a vicious cycle.

5. Be Open to Learning

If you’re open to learning and to changing your behavior, you have a terrific chance to reach your potential. It is critical that you be motivated to learn, change, and go further in your life.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

5 Rules of the Road for Rea...

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