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“The only person you need to measure yourself up against is the person you have the potential to become.”
Have you ever looked around at your life and thought, there must be more to it than this?
If so, you’re not alone. It seems that for many of us, no matter where we are in life, we are always seeking greener pastures. Kabbalists explain that this simply means we have not reached our highest potential—the whole reason we’re here.
Think you’re doing pretty well or that this doesn’t apply to you? Think again. “Every single one of us is not living up to our potential,” says Michael Berg. “If we are honest with ourselves, we are not even doing 1/1000th of the work that we are supposed to be doing.”
When faced with this hard truth, what are we to do? How do we get on track living the life we are meant to?
For starters, realize that this kind of work is mainly internal. It is common to feel compelled to make external changes when we hit a roadblock. We may rearrange the furniture, change our hair, or paint the house a new color, but these changes only give us a temporary boost. Sometimes we busy ourselves with external work that masquerades as internal work: reading popular self-help books, taking community classes, joining organizations, etc. In and of themselves, these are worthwhile endeavors. Yet, self-improvement is not the same as self-actualization.
The real work happens internally. It happens when we recognize our true desires and let them be the compass that guides us. Ask yourself what you feel passionately about, what motivates you, what you feel drawn to. The answers may surprise you, however they can ultimately lead you in the right direction. Let these answers be the impetus for action. Through action we grow, transform, and manifest our true purpose. Each action becomes an investment in living a more fulfilling life because it is only through this growth that we can begin to meet our true potential.
Know that this process is not always easy. While moving in the direction of your highest potential, you can experience pain, fear, and loss. Transformation takes spiritual strength and endurance. As you learn, grow, and continue to strive to meet your potential, send yourself a little love. As Michael Berg explains, “The singular reason why we are all falling short of the work that we need to do is because we don’t truly have an appreciation for who we are… for the greatness of our soul, and the potential of our soul.” Beating yourself up over the fact that you haven’t accomplished the work the Creator has in mind for you will do little to drive you forward. Awakening your potential means awakening the true essence of your soul, and this requires love and compassion.
The truth is that we each have unique gifts and talents, which we were given in order to impact the world in a way that no one else can. Find ways to use these gifts and talents to contribute to a cause larger than you. Your gifts are meant for sharing. In the end, we do not create our paths in life; we uncover them. Your path is already there, waiting for you. You just have to find it.
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