I never want to reach my peak potential

We’re a people obsessed with being the absolute best we can be. It’s almost an unhealthy obsession given that Amazon carries 453,552 books on topics related to self-help and personal achievement. Motivational and self-improvement seminars are a dime a dozen and the words are beginning to lose their meaning.

One company, Peak Potentials, has seminars designed to motivate you to reach that potential.

On the long way down

But why? Once you reach peak, the only way to go is down. According to Dr. Joseph P Allen of the University of Virginia, children who are popular at an early age tend to lose that popularity as they continue in life–and that by the time they’re young adults, are no longer popular at all.

Children are drawn to misbehavior; and their peers who are seen as cool in early ages tend to reach that because they started drinking or smoking or having sex at an early age. As we age, we all pass those milestones; and the simple fact of doing or having done is no longer a requirement for popularity. In essence, it becomes all about the personality.

That’s what a peak is

A peak is the start of the end. So, then, why would I or anyone want to reach that point? In a world that’s ever-changing, we are in command of our own destinies. Our decisions are some of our strongest assets. And just like our time and money lead to consequences–good or bad.

So what do I plan to do to avoid peak?

Simple enough: stretch myself. With discomfort comes growth and learning. That growth and learning is what we stop doing once we peak. The moment when we over-rest on our laurels is the moment that we begin to get ever-closer to never being able to climb again. On the flip side, the moment when we work past our rut and manage to finally step out of it–that’s the moment of highest growth.

To quote American poet, Eminem,

look at the accolades these skills brung me
Full of myself, but still hungry
I bully myself ’cause I make me do what I put my mind to

~Eminem

Still hungry

We live in a world that’s a 24/7 buffet. There’s no reason why success can’t be like that as well.

Feature photo by Alex Wong

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Erik says:

    Love this perspective, from top to bottom. Yes, it actually pains me to even be referred to as a self-help writer, because of the glut and the connotations. (I also think the term “self-help writer” is a bit of an oxymoron, since if people could help themselves, they wouldn’t need writers to help them do it.)

    But I digress.

    I’m with you. Every time I hear about another seminar, I get a cloying feeling. And yet, I not only write but speak. I guess I actually do feel like I have something different to offer; and that difference is essentially what you describe here. I don’t tell people how to “get to their best self.” I talk about the next choice. And there will always be a next choice.

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