5 Rules of the Road for Reaching Your Full Potential

Reaching your unique potential involves process, or specific steps that are required to take action.

5 Rules of the Road for Reaching Your Full Potential

"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.

3,000-pound Triceratops skull unearthed in South Dakota

"You dream about these kinds of moments when you're a kid," said lead paleontologist David Schmidt.

Excavation of a triceratops skull in South Dakota.

Credit: David Schmidt / Westminster College
Surprising Science
  • The triceratops skull was first discovered in 2019, but was excavated over the summer of 2020.
  • It was discovered in the South Dakota Badlands, an area where the Triceratops roamed some 66 million years ago.
  • Studying dinosaurs helps scientists better understand the evolution of all life on Earth.
Keep reading Show less

How the CIA used LSD to fight communism

Before it fueled Woodstock and the Summer of Love, LSD was brought to America to make spying easier.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • The CIA's Project MK-Ultra was designed to investigate the potential of drugs for intelligence operations.
  • LSD was thought to be a truth serum and was used on unwitting citizens.
  • The full extent of the CIA's unethical human experiments may never be known.
Keep reading Show less

To the very beginning: going back in time with Steven Weinberg (Part 2)

What was the universe like one-trillionth of a second after the Big Bang? Science has an answer.

Credit: gonin via Adobe Stock
  • Following Steven Weinberg's lead, we plunge further back into cosmic history, beyond the formation of atomic nuclei.
  • Today, we discuss the origin of the quark-gluon plasma and the properties of the famous Higgs boson, the "God Particle."
  • Is there a limit? How far can we go back in time?
Keep reading Show less
Personal Growth

Surprisingly modern lessons from classic Russian literature

Though gloomy and dense, Russian literature is hauntingly beautiful, offering a relentlessly persistent inquiry into the human experience.