In last week’s article, I asked the question:
“What would you be if you knew you could be the absolute best at it?”
I’ve decided that it’s the Best Question Ever because it challenges you to think about what you really want and how you could really make a difference in this world.
It’s such a new question to most people, many found it hard to wrap their heads around. So I thought I’d give just a little more explanation because this is truly one of the most important questions you will ever ask yourself. It’s WAY more important than the 2nd most important question, “Do these jeans make me look fat?”
Another way to look at this question is to break it down into the questions it encompasses:
– If all the obstacles in your life were removed (debt, time obligations, etc.), what would you do with your life?
– If you followed your interests and passions as far as they could take you, where would you end up?
– If you developed and nurtured your natural talents and abilities to their highest potential, what would you accomplish?
There are probably more questions implied within the Best Question Ever, but these should provide some extra focus for those who struggled with the original question.
Now, back to the original: “What would you be if you knew you could be the absolute best at it?”
One reason I think this question is so powerful is because answering it honestly and realistically removes the three biggest obstacles between us and our true potential:
1. The Fear of Failure
Familiar to all human beings and probably several species of monkeys, everyone fears failure. I call itthe fear of looking stupid. The Best Question Ever forces us to look at it in a new way. Here’s the thing:
If I’m not the best at something, I don’t want to do it. We don’t like to play games we don’t believe we can win. It’s why I hate playing Mario Cart with my kids. I suck at it, especially the truly evil course called “Rainbow Road.”
Does being the best mean being the best in the world? It could, but it really means what could you be YOUR best at?
So what would you do if you could be your best?
2. Lack of Acceptance of What We Could Be Great At.
There are a gazillion reasons why we don’t truly accept and acknowledge our true talents, passions, and potential. These reasons range from “I tried and failed before” to “My 3rd grade teacher said I wasn’t good at math“.
Get over it. Take inventory of your talents and passions and, more importantly, take OWNERSHIP of them. Your third grade teacher (or even your parents for that matter) don’t control you anymore! If you don’t know what your talents and passions are, get out there and try more stuff. You’ll eventually find something that resonates.
What would happen if you accepted your talents and passions and eventually pursued them full-time?
3. The Fear of Success.
Ah, the final frontier. The silliest by far, but real nonetheless. We fear success because it usually means life will dramatically change for us. We fear we’ll have to give up what we have right now in exchange for what our true potential might bring. We fear it’s selfish to be successful. We fear being judged.
That’s like saying you fear buying a Ferrari because you’ll have to give up your Ford Fiesta.
Like I mentioned last week, I’ve decided that writing and speaking is my highest potential to make a difference. To truly pursue that, though, I’ve got to give up about 95% of what I’m currently doing. Scary. But it’s worth it and I know it.
What could you accomplish with your life if you had absolutely no fear of success?
Ok, my last thoughts here. Thanks for hanging with me. I know it’s a longer article than usual, but if you’ve read this far I truly believe you’re about to do something amazing with your life.
Think big AND be realistic. This is not fantasy camp. We’re not talking about your lifelong dream to be an astronaut, the next American Idol, or Brad Pitt’s next wife. What’s realistic? That’s up to you to decide.
Could you be an Oscar-winning actress? Absolutely — if you have the talent and the passion to pursue it.
Could you be a truly amazing high-school chemistry teacher? Absolutely — if you have the talent and passion to pursue it.
Could you take your current position and become the absolute best at it? ABSOLUTELY! You don’t have to quit your job and pursue something radically different. There’s a pretty good chance you’re in a position that you would fall completely in love with…if you decided to be the best at it.
If you read last week’s article and didn’t answer the question, well, now you have no choice:
“What would you be if you could be the absolute best at it?“
Here’s your chance to tell the world! Leave us a comment with your answer!