This month, our Fox & Roach Friday Forum featured Brian P. Moran, author of the New York Times best-selling book The 12 Week Year. Brian talked about his groundbreaking time-management principles, which teach people how to accomplish more in far less time. During his presentation, he mentioned a quotation from Thomas Edison - one of the most well-known, prolific inventors of all time - that I’ve been thinking about ever since:
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Do you feel regret when you read those words, thinking maybe you haven’t been fulfilling your true potential? I believe it’s natural to feel like you always could have done more. I find it helpful to remember that you can’t change the past. It’s history. You can, however, change your next decision. While we may not always feel remarkable, our potential to accomplish remarkable things is always present. Acknowledge that the potential is there and your goals will feel reachable. Barriers usually have more to do with thinking than anything else.
Once you’ve acknowledged your potential, what else will help you accomplish more? Think about action steps to achieve your goals. Maybe you want to read a book like The 12 Week Year or take a class to learn how to maximize your time. Maybe you want to identify a list of steps that will get you closer to your goal - actually write them down or print them out to stay motivated. Or, you could work with an accountability partner. This means forming a partnership in which you mutually agree to coach each other on a regular basis. You speak daily or weekly through feedback sessions, where you share wins and talk about your current challenges. Your action steps are up to you, but should be specific efforts that you see as the best path to your goals.
Even if you haven’t astounded yourself lately, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable of astounding things in the future, starting today. Okay, so I don’t recommend that anyone directly compare their accomplishments to those of Thomas Edison … but I can assure you that you have potential and you can be truly remarkable.