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The Principle of IMMENSE POTENTIAL (and 4 steps to become a Bad Ass!)
20Oct 2014
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The Principle of IMMENSE POTENTIAL says you are capable of miraculous things.

You’ve got more potential inside you that you could ever develop in a lifetime. Potentials so great that they are almost unimaginable. Powers that would astonish you and everyone around you, if you activated them and put into action.

You have the potential to create a truly extraordinary life for yourself.

You have the potential to be ultra-healthy, immensely wealthy, knowledgeable, vibrant, happy and fulfilled in every area of your life. Just about everyone has that potential.

However, most people will never even brush up against their true potential. They won’t realize even a fraction of what they’re truly capable of.

Why is that?

What’s the difference between ordinary people and extraordinary people?

Of course this isn’t a simple question, and it doesn’t have a simple answer. There are countless forces involved. But one thing is certain: your Character will play a major role – if not THE major role – in the story of whether or not you actualize yourself and unlock your immense potential.

This month we’re focusing on a specific family of Character traits that are seldom talked about in personal development circles… But they’re traits we all need to develop in order to achieve a truly extraordinary life.

For lack of a better term, Jon Butcher (our Founder here at Lifebook) calls them the ‘bad ass’ character traits. :) Here they are…

Self-responsibility
Self-discipline
Perseverance
Determination
Fortitude
Constitution
Grit
Courage
Endurance
Resilience
Personal Power
Inner Strength
Toughness

Think about the extraordinary people in any field – – in business, in athletics, in the arts, in leadership… Anyone who has realized their immense potential in ANY area of life. Michael Jordan, Winston Churchill, Oprah Winfrey, Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela… The list goes on and on.

What do they ALL have in common?

They are all people of formidable strength or skill. They were powerful INSIDE before they became powerful OUTSIDE.

Ask people like that how they became extraordinary and they will tell you about summoning courage in the face of fear. They’ll tell you about perseverance when you’re exhausted and it seems impossible to take another step forward. They’ll tell you about developing a purpose so strong that it will pull you forward.

They’ll tell you about inner strength, tenacity, the ability to handle adversity, the importance of having thick skin, the willingness to tolerate pain and endure sleepless nights and make some sacrifices on the way to achieving your goals.

Who do you know… who have you ever heard of who has achieved extraordinary success in any category of life that doesn’t posses at least SOME of these traits?

Take a look at the extraordinary life that you’re in the process of building, and everything it entails…

Take a look at the level of health and fitness you’re after, the love relationship you really want, the immense career and financial success you’re striving for, and ask yourself, “Can I achieve these things without being a BAD ASS?”

Take your vision for your health and fitness for example…

Will you be able to unlock your immense potential in this category without self-discipline, determination, and the ability to tolerate a little pain?

For most Lifebook Members, the answer is NO because we usually set a pretty high bar, and a high bar usually requires an intense effort. And what’s the difference between an INTENSE workout that yields incredible results – that really changes your body – and a mediocre workout that yields little or no results? It’s called PAIN. True story. An intense workout HURTS. It hurts so good – it’s A POSITIVE pain. But it is pain nonetheless. Are you willing to go through that?

Can you get that amazing body you’re after without being a BAD ASS at the dinner table and bringing some serious self-discipline with you?

The willingness to tolerate some short-term sacrifice? It’s no fun to stick to your meal plan at dinner time. We would all rather overeat. Self-discipline is not the easy path. But it also happens to be the one character trait that controls all the others, and probably the greatest single predictor of health, happiness, wealth and all the other good things we want in our lives – so we’d better embrace it!

Can you achieve your vision for your love relationship without being a BAD ASS?

If you’re going to be a thin-skinned, sensitive little flower that takes offense to every nuance of a look or a tone from your spouse… If you’re gonna spin off into an argument with every little bump in the road – every detail that doesn’t go your way… you’re going to have a lot of trouble achieving that vision.

It takes some emotional fortitude to show love when what you really want to do is have a self-indulgent emotional outburst. If you REALLY want to live your life to the fullest with the beautiful person that you’ve chosen as your life partner, you’ve got to show up with some inner strength.

Can you achieve the vision for your Financial Life without the determination to stick to a financial plan?

The willingness to endure a little short-term sacrifice? The ability to make some tough calls?

Is it reasonable to expect extraordinary career success and simultaneously be sloppy, loose, weak-willed and undisciplined? I think not.

An extraordinary life is NOT for wimps. It’s not for the weak-willed, the lazy or the faint of heart.

If it were easy to have a stellar life, everyone would have one. But almost no one does, because it is not easy. It demands a lot of you. You’re simply not going to get it if you’re going to fold in the face of every adversity. You’re not going to get it if you’re a fragile little snowflake that melts at the first sign of a little heat.

Because there’s going to be heat! You’ve set some big goals. You’ve set the bar high. Not settling for “ordinary” and being committed to getting the most you can out of your life… that’s the most noble mission you could ever aspire to, but it is also a tough road sometimes.

You should count on some trials and tribulations. You will try and fail. You’ll have to persevere. You’re going to fall down repeatedly and you’ll have to get back up!

There will be people there to drag you down – that literally want to see you fail. You’re going have to have to make some tough choices along the way, some of which won’t make you very popular.

This journey to your Life Vision is going to take courage, perseverance, emotional fortitude, determination, self-discipline and inner strength.

In short, you’re going to have to be a BAD ASS to achieve your extraordinary life!

Now, none of this means you can’t be a kind, sensitive, compassionate, gentle, and loving person. Being a bad ass doesn’t mean you have to fight all the time – or walk around flexing your muscles with a big scowl on your face. It doesn’t mean being a bully, pushing to the front of the line and violating the rights of others. Not even close.

Being a bad ass means an inner knowing that you can handle ANYTHING life throws at you.

You’ve taken full ownership of the most important being in the universe – yourself – and you’re going to do whatever it takes to be responsible for yourself, your own happiness, your aspirations, the people you love… your entire world.

If you’re a bad ass, you don’t complain. You take action to change your situation. You don’t expect anyone to hand you anything. You’re not going to wilt in the face of adversity.

When a crisis comes along, you’re not going to lose control and spin off into an emotional tizzy and leak all over the people around you and expect other people to solve your problems. You’ll stay centered and grounded within yourself, because you’ve got something called constitution. You’ve got a solid spiritual and emotional base. You’re kind, loving and compassionate, but you’re also just plain tough.

These bad ass character traits are, more often than not, the difference between extraordinary results and poor or mediocre results in every category of life.

Self-discipline, perseverance, determination, fortitude, courage, resilience.

These are the character traits you need to unlock your IMMENSE POTENTIAL. And if you are willing to commit to developing them, practicing them, nurturing them in your life, you’ll have a huge advantage over the people around you.

Because these particular traits are becoming more and more rare in our modern society. You just don’t see them a whole lot anymore. We have grown soft and weak as a society. We’re fragile. We expect others to take care of us. We don’t have the constitution or emotional fortitude we used to. Our generation hasn’t experienced true adversity – not even close to the way our preceding generations have.

Most of us couldn’t begin to imagine what life was like in the great depression – when people were starving in America – when there were bread lines.  As a mom, your most important job was to try to keep their kids alive. You had to be a bad ass to get through something like that. That wasn’t that long ago. Your grandparents probably went through that.

We wouldn’t even have the America we have today if the pilgrims hadn’t braved the journey to the new world and endured all the hardships and pain it took to keep going and keep their vision alive. We have no idea how painful and hopeless it would be to lose most of your family – your children, your parents, your siblings – and that’s exactly what happened to every one of those first people that forged the country we’re so privileged to live in.

Have you ever read Victor Frankl’s classic book, “Mans Search for Meaning?” It’s like a post-graduate crash course on being the ultimate bad ass.

Here’s a man who lost his entire family and barely survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps of WWII.  He endured hardships that we can’t even imagine in our darkest nightmares. During that experience, he had the remarkable insight that in any circumstance, no matter how bad it is, we have the ability to respond in any way we want to.

He writes,

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

And in the midst of the most brutal experience any human being will ever go through, he chose self-responsibility. He chose hope. He chose compassion toward his oppressors. He chose positivity in a concentration camp… how on Earth do you do that?!

When you look at all your so-called ‘problems’ from this perspective, they all look kind of small, and sometimes downright silly.

Whatever our big challenges are, or obstacles, or excuses… That work project that’s giving us fits… The kids are on our last nerve… Business is hard because the economy is in the tank… Our parents weren’t perfect… Whatever it is that’s bothering you,  just remember that YOU are in control of how you respond to all of life’s challenges. It’s entirely your call.

Are you going to be a fragile little flower and wilt, or are you going to suck it up and push through to the life you want live?

Are you going to put control outside of yourself and blame your parents, your boss, the fact that you grew up poor, or your genetics – for how you’re showing up in your life? Or are you going to own the fact that you alone are responsible for choosing how you bring yourself out to the world, and push through to the life you want live?

Are you going to be a VICTIM, or are you going to be a BAD ASS?

As Nassim Taleb tells us, ‘Wind extinguishes the candle, but energizes the fire.’

That’s what Lifebook Members want… we want to be energized by the wind. When the winds of adversity blow, which they will, we should want to face them like a BAD ASS – to allow them to fan the flames of our passions and ambitions, and help us reach our IMMENSE POTENTIAL.

So, here are 4 steps you can take to connect with your inner BAD ASS.

Step One:  Define Your Life Vision

Take the time to sit down, think through your life, and define what the heck you want so you can stop running around in circles like a crazy person, responding to circumstances instead of directing your life consciously.  Good news… If you’re a Lifebook Member, you’ve already done that! And if you’re not, it’s never been easier to create your Lifebook – either in our live experience or online. Click here for more information.

Step Two: Stay deeply connected to your PURPOSE

Define the reasons WHY you want what you want – WHY you do what you do. Read your Life Vision and absorb it regularly. Read your morning affirmation every day. Remember what you’re working for. Stay conscious of why you’re doing that hard workout that hurts… Stay conscious of why you’re making that financial sacrifice… Of why you’re being disciplined and exercising emotional control even though you don’t want to.

Keep the big picture of your Life Vision in mind… FEEL that extraordinary life you’re building. Because that purpose is what’s going to pull you through during the tough times and keep you focused.

Step Three:  Be actively, immensely GRATEFUL

This one is a killer strategy. Right in the midst of pain or adversity, activate your gratitude. In the midst of that tough workout – right there in the middle of your 8th interval when it hurts – be grateful that your body can DO THAT. You probably won’t be able to do that with your body when you’re 90 years old – but you CAN do it now. Breathe into it.  Feel it.  Feel that heart pumping, feel those lungs burning. FEEL THE PAIN, and be thankful for it. That is what you want.

When you’re awake at night worrying about your financial life because things are tight right now, remember, there are a billion people on this planet that make less than a dollar a day. People that don’t have running water, or a refrigerator, or a warm soft mattress like the one you’re laying on right now, while you’re worrying about money. Take a moment to be immensely thankful that you have a house and a car and a bank account – as opposed to, say, being in a concentration camp. Then, notice how your financial troubles feel when you look at them from that perspective.

Step Four:  Suck it up!

As my friend Sean T says, “Dig deeper. Push through.”

Own your attitude. Having an extraordinary life is about not accepting a mediocre life – it’s not even about accepting a GOOD life.  It’s about purposefully and consciously driving all the way to the edge of your immense potential and forging the life you want.

Choose inner strength over weakness!

Choose empowerment over surrender!

Refuse to be a victim. Be a BAD ASS instead and unlock the IMMENSE POTENTIAL that you have inside you.

1 comment “The Principle of IMMENSE POTENTIAL (and 4 steps to become a Bad Ass!)”

  • Shari
    April 25, 2017
    12:10 pm

    This essay came at the perfect time. I just finished Character and I was having a particularly bad week and feeling sorry for myself. I have copied it in as part of my Character chapter to remind myself to be a Bad Ass!!

    To give myself 5 mins to wallow in self pity then pick myself up by my boot straps and kick myself in the behind. I will definitely re-read this every time I get to that chapter (planning to read one chapter a day to keep myself on target.

    Thank you for sharing it.

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