The eastern wisdom tradition known as the Vedas provide a way to classify the process of analysing potential and the stages behind bringing out that potential. Our potential is specific and relative to a particular objective or arena. Someone has more potential for doing business due to having access to resources, networks, skills and experience in that area, than another person. We therefore have different potential for different objectives, ranging from personal health to specific career goals.
We can map potential as the elements we have access to, which are relevant to a particular objective or goal. For example, if I want to cook, the elements include the kitchen, the cooking ingredients, the cooking utensils and my skill in cooking. These elements can be listed within the field of potential. The Vedas teach that potential is only realised or transformed into success through engaging in the right activities. The quality of that activity is determined by how well it is planned and executed.
3. Executive Power
Prior to this stage, one needs to evaluate their executive power, which means how well you or your team can transform the potential you have into the result you want. The result itself should be pre meditated so that one is clear on their goal and can therefore be confident and focussed. Clarity brings confidence and focus.
We should work backwards:
- We work out our objective
- Look at what factors are needed in our field of potential
- What type and degree of executive power is necessary to achieve that objective.
This model is universal in application and thus has a sophisticated simplicity of use. It also gives accuracy in terms of how one can evaluate their endeavours. Once an objective has been achieved, it becomes part of your field of potential. For example, once you have raised some capital that becomes part of your background resource that you can now use for another goal.
If an endeavour doesn’t work out immediately, you can analyse quickly what the weakness is. Am I missing certain elements of potential or is my executive power weak or inappropriate?
Executive power has at least 3 considerations, which are
- The required Time
- The required Skill
- Willingness to transform that potential through an Activity/series of activities.
Endeavour over result
When the quality of endeavour is the main focus, it accelerates the motivation, standards of execution and so the chances of success increase. Therefore its more effective, once the goal is clear, to give emphasis to the quality of the endeavour, while keeping an eye on the goal to ensure you are constantly steering in the right direction. This also develops a mentality that will stay determined in the face of challenges.
Endeavouring with the right attitude
Creates a habit which becomes reinforced by the activity. Therefore, you strengthen the attitude needed for success if you endeavour with humility (capacity to learn, grow, understand, and develop as a person and ability to take assistance). This has to be coupled with professionalism. Otherwise, as a negative attitude is reinforced, the levels of future success become diminished because one will strive in future with an attitude which causes failure in the long term, such as complacency, which sets in when humility is not present.
Work as a medium for personal development
Using this model, we can see our qualities or characteristics as the field of potential and our own actions or work habits as our executive potential. In our work scenarios, we can try to learn from all situations. For example, I can ask myself, what do I need to change in myself in order to make a project work? What behaviours or attitudes do I need to practice to achieve a particular result?
Science of satisfaction
A key consideration is around what is worth striving for and why? In the Bhagavad Gita, it is explained that there are 3 types of happiness, good happiness, passionate happiness, and ignorant happiness.
- The first type comes from actions or striving for goals that are principle centred, based upon knowledge and a desire to produce something of benefit to oneself and others.
- Passionate happiness comes from self-centred actions motivated by greed, desire for prestige and personal aggrandisement.
- Ignorant happiness is based upon negative actions that harm others, or cause other destructive results.
Each level of happiness has a different level of depth in terms of how it fulfils us and each gives its main results over a different period of time. Good happiness is unrivalled in that it gives a superior depth of happiness and creates far greater long term success and value than the other types of happiness.
As mentioned by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as higher needs are addressed, we become more whole and experience more refined levels of contentment.
- Social contribution can be achieved through charitable activities, mental wellbeing through studying books of wisdom and developing or practising good habits of thought, such as compassion and meditating on the wellbeing of others.
- Physical well being can come from exercise, good diet, sleep and a regulated lifestyle meaning arising and sleeping at optimal times.
- Spiritual well being can be achieved by processes such as mantra meditation and bhakti yoga.