How to Unlock Your Potential

You know you have great potential and strive for growth and personal fulfillment. You are ready to act, and you desire success and recognition.

However, sometimes you feel like a character in a fantasy novel who’s been placed in an enchanted world and equipped only with thoughts and prayers: “Go ahead! Show them!”

Where exactly do you need to go? What specifically are you supposed to do?

First, we need to understand why we need personal fulfillment and why we are willing to spend time and energy to achieve it.

  • Why can’t we live the way we are?
  • Why do we need goals or achievements?
  • Why do we feel like if we don’t develop and apply our skills, our lives will have been lived in vain?

Why We Need Personal Fulfillment

If we want something without explanation, the culprit is usually behavioral programs that we’ve inherited from our distant ancestors. Our species was shaped during the last Ice Age, so all the behavioral settings we’ve received date back to that era.

Turning these programs off is impossible because they once guaranteed our survival. Although the urban environment of the 21st century doesn’t resemble the conditions our forebears lived in, we are still forced to do what, in Nature’s opinion, will save us from extinction.

It uses the carrot and stick to ensure we don’t veer off course. If our actions are not aligned with our initial program, Nature will punish us with fear, stress, and general sadness. Whereas if we do what we’re supposed to, we are guaranteed the most positive emotions (in other words, happiness). That’s precisely why we love working productively with people like us, sitting around the fire, dancing, singing, conducting mysterious rituals, and participating in contests.

Everything considered helpful for our ancestors still brings us joy tens of thousands of years later, and personal fulfillment is just part of that list.

People living in the Stone Age couldn’t afford to “just live.” Back then, there were little food and lots of predators, and cannibalistic neighbors were prowling nearby. Under these circumstances, all the members of the tribe had to contribute to their mutual survival. Nature ensured that each person wanted to do so and felt it to be a grave misfortune if they could not fulfill their potential.

People did that not to attract partners and not to outdo everybody but for the tribe to prosper and have a better chance of leaving behind healthy and successful offspring.

The reason is simple. Ancient humans couldn’t exist on their own, and they needed a large group of fellow tribespeople who were strong, healthy, and fertile. For each person, taking care of their own turned into taking care of themselves. Of course, there were inner conflicts and attempts at domination, but if group members didn’t find a way to support each other, they all perished.

The draw we feel towards personal fulfillment is based on our desire to contribute significantly to the prosperity of our tribe (as we understand it), and it’s crucial to us that those around us appreciate our efforts.

The personal fulfillment program doesn’t just have us do our jobs well but also makes us strive for our fellow tribespeople’s approbation. There is no personal fulfillment without community feedback, so external validation is a sort of “emergency brake” that won’t allow us to do things nobody cares about.

But if what we do is important to our tribespeople, and they are grateful for it, we experience tremendous satisfaction. We are confident in ourselves and our futures as we proudly recognize our value. That’s a reward from Mother Nature, which provides us with “happiness hormones” if we complete what we are tasked with.

A Dead End

The world has changed so much over the last few thousand years that our natural programs no longer correspond to our reality. Because of this, many people’s internal settings are off: their inner voice tells them one thing, society demands another, and their mind says something else entirely.

Many believe they can achieve happiness and satisfaction by accumulating money, awards, and influential positions. But modern “medals” aren’t accounted for in our program because they didn’t exist when it was formed.

We experience joy the moment we receive what we desire. This feeling is akin to the jubilation of ancient humans when they defeated an enemy or killed a large animal. But once we’ve got the prize, we no longer react to it. Our ancestors immediately consumed whatever they had managed to get, so they didn’t need a program that allowed them to enjoy their accumulated wealth or success over a long time.

Self-fulfillment aimed at amassing money, diplomas, and other prestigious things doesn’t work. If what we do doesn’t benefit our tribespeople, and we get envy instead of approval from them, we’ll have issues with personal satisfaction. Forget about long-term happiness.

The same is true for our achievements. If a person spends all their energy proving to others how awesome they are, they will be constantly assailed by depression and anxiety about the future. This is a direct violation of the program, and Nature punishes the transgressor to the fullest extent of evolutionary law. You don’t want to behave? Here, have some sadness and a sense of worthlessness: go on timeout and make way for those who know what they’re doing. When you’ve learned your lesson, feel free to come back.

How Are We Supposed to Benefit Others?

Now, a question arises: How exactly should we benefit others?

Each person is born with a predisposition toward some activity. But it has nothing to do with modern professions or talents that are in demand in the 21st century. It’s about what the person would have done of their own free will had they been born during the Ice Age.

There weren’t that many roles in an ancient tribe, and each of them corresponded to one of the basic personality types:

  • Hunters procured material goods and protected their tribe from danger
  • Givers took care of their fellow tribespeople and maintained good relationships with them
  • Explorers looked for new and exciting possibilities
  • Keepers preserved and multiplied spiritual or material wealth

All of these things can be done in the modern world. You just have to follow three rules:

  • Select a profession or field of work where the interests and inclinations of your basic personality type are in demand
  • Benefit others in a prominent and meaningful way
  • Have people around you who can appreciate your efforts

Progress has given us not only modern comfort but also estrangement, which would shock and frighten ancient humans. Today, far from all of us have grateful fellow tribespeople. As a result, many are trying their hardest to fulfill their potential, while others want something completely different from them.

Often, divorce, moving, career changes, etc., are a subconscious search for a tribe, the people who will recognize something valuable in us and give us what we crave the most—approval and acceptance.

Without these magic ingredients, all our efforts are meaningless, even if we achieve incredible results.

Choosing a Path

Modern people dreaming of self-fulfillment might rush around from one activity to another, wait years for recognition, or give up on themselves and their abilities.

But they can look at themselves from a different point of view and see what they’ve never noticed before.

If they understand what the personal fulfillment program is all about, they can choose whom to benefit and in what way. Essentially, they can choose the role they want to play in society.

The options are as follows:

If others accept and approve of you, then you can certainly grow within the framework of your basic personality type, becoming a better Hunter, Giver, Explorer, or Keeper.

For those who choose this path, their tribe is the people they have personal relationships with.

But if your circle doesn’t see much value in you, or if you crave more than the approval of relatives, friends, and colleagues, you can move to the next level and expand your zone of influence by investing your energy and time into the well-being of strangers. In other words, people that you don’t know personally.

The desire to take care not just of our own but of strangers is an exclusive characteristic of our species and one of the pillars of civilization. This behavioral program has allowed us to unite large groups and create complex tools, large-scale religions, and long-lasting nations.

We don’t need to do anything to fit into one of the basic personality types because we are born with it. But if we make a special effort and start investing in the well-being of strangers, we can become Experts, Sages, Inspirers, or Leaders.

We’re talking about second- and third-level personality types. Those who take this path create a sort of superstructure on top of their personality, changing it significantly. This allows them to create a new tribe around them, consisting of people who rely on what they do.

Setting a Goal for Ourselves

Unfulfilled talent aches, and it causes physical discomfort in the most literal sense. Likewise, we experience suffering when rejected: the human brain perceives it as an injury, and it takes us a long time to heal the wound afterward. This is why discovering a practical application for our abilities is essential for our health and well-being.
But to solve the self-fulfillment problem, we must be clear on what we want and how to get from point A to point B.

My job is to tell you about the second- and third-level personality types. Your job is to study everything carefully, analyze your situation, and consciously choose who you want to become.

Once you have a clear action plan, you execute it step by step. Then the ancient program that gives us all the reason to live will start working for you, not against you.

What’s Next?

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