What if I told you that you are destined for greatness?
You’d probably be skeptical, or at the very least you’d ask how I know that…
The truth is that many of us have far more potential than we realize.
By looking at the signs and maximizing them, we can tap into our full potential, find our purpose and bring plans into actualization.
With each point I’ve included the key teaching of what you can do in your life right now to shift fortune in your favor.
1) You always look for a better way to do things
As former Apple CEO and chairman of Pepsico John Sculley says, his strategy has always been to solve things in a way they’ve never been solved before.
When you’re destined for great things, you can’t settle. When you see an opportunity to do something better, smarter or in a new way, you start making moves.
“Innovation has never come through bureaucracy and hierarchy.
It has always come from individuals.”
Key: looking at new ways to solve problems.
2) You have a drive to improve your situation in life
It’s hard to get anywhere if you don’t have a dream.
When Pele (Edson do Nascimento) was growing up in a favela in Brazil he always had a dream to improve his situation.
He wasn’t quite sure how, but as he kicked around a ball in bare feet, he felt a calling to be more than life seemed to have chosen for him.
His dad was his first coach, and Pele actually originally wanted to be an airplane pilot to earn more for his family.
But he always had a love for the game and a passion and work ethic that touched every area of his life.
When that eventually led to him being discovered by a talent scout as a teen and going on to become world-famous and legendary, his drive paid off.
Key: having drive and inner fire to improve your situation.
3) You’re highly self-aware
Self-awareness is the start of a beautiful friendship (with yourself).
It’s also the start of gaining a distinct edge in business and in your personal life.
When you know what drives you and are aware of your strengths and faults, you’re able to make better decisions and avoid some mistakes.
Lack of self-awareness often undermines even the most talented and hardworking individuals because they give their all and have all sorts of skills but they don’t see their blind spots.
Key: know yourself first and everything else will start falling into place.
4) You know how to use your strengths to your advantage
When you know yourself well you become very aware of what you’re best at.
If Pele had kept on with his dream to become a pilot there’s every reason to believe he would have succeeded.
But we likely wouldn’t ever have known his name.
That’s because while his dedication and intelligence likely would have made a fine pilot, his incredible, breathtaking skill on the football pitch was what truly made him shine.
This relates to this key: use your strengths to your advantage and double down on what you’re good at.
5) You don’t take failure personally
The greatest winners in history had a history of failure.
From Michael Jordan to Steve Jobs, if you take a look at their background before they made it big you would notice one big thing:
You would see that their skills weren’t quite translating. They were being underestimated.
People saw potential, sure, but nobody really knew they’d ever reach the heights they did.
They succeeded by not taking failure personally and having a dream so strong that setbacks just made the eventual victory taste even sweeter.
Key: failure and rejection happens to everyone, but success happens to those who don’t take it personally.
6) You’re willing to take calculated risks
Without risk you can’t expect any reward.
All new products and inventions are a massive risk: all the time and energy that went into them could turn out to be for nothing.
When Jeff Bezos started Amazon he knew it was risky.
But he also knew that on his deathbed he didn’t want to think back about risks he didn’t take in business.
“I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal.
“I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that.
“But I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried.”
Today, Bezos is a self-made multibillionaire and currently ranks as the third-richest person in the world.
Key: consider what risks are worth taking and then commit fully.
7) You treat others with respect regardless of their social status
Those who are destined to achieve great things in life don’t behave selectively.
They don’t look up to kings and look down on common men.
Nor do they necessarily look down on kings, either!
Everybody is worth considering on their own terms.
As the poet Rudyard Kipling memorably put it in his 1895 poem “If:”
“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
“Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch…”
Key: treating others with respect is the right thing to do and it’s also smart since you never know who will be helping you one day.
8) You’re kind to yourself and respect yourself
Self-respect is crucial and it’s always the first step to greatness.
If you have a negative inner dialog, don’t give up.
Many great individuals have been plagued by an inner critic but found a way to persevere anyhow and make it out of the dark forest.
Key: self-compassion and self-respect need to come before anybody else will respect and value you, too.
9) You’re grateful and follow up on opportunities you get
Gratitude is a highly important attribute of those who are bound for greatness as well.
Appreciating everybody on the team is a trait I’ve noticed in many leaders in my life and who I’ve long admired.
Former Campbell’s Soup CEO Doug Conant sent more than 30,000 handwritten thank you notes to his employees and customers over the course of his leadership.
From 2001 to 2011, Conant set aside time and energy to write out thank you cards.
He wanted to show employees they weren’t just numbers to him but people with names who mattered to the company.
Key: gratitude isn’t just an Instagram hashtag, it’s a savvy strategy for building business and networking.
10) You have a real hunger and openness for learning
No matter how much money you make or social status you attain, there’s always more to learn.
Emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and in every way, we’re all works in progress.
There is no plateau at which we become perfect and cease needing to work and apply effort.
Even if you understood all the secrets of the universe, actually putting them into practice is a different matter.
When you’re able to keep alive this hunger for learning, there’s no doubt that destiny has great things in store for you.
Key: knowledge is power and those who want to know more will continue to grow as people and leaders.
11) You set aside time each day to learn
Former VP of General Electric Beth Comstock recommends having 10% of your day that’s just for learning new things.
This is a great goal to have.
Even a little bit of learning each day will take you far and lead to great opportunities and discoveries.
It’s also about keeping your mind agile and maintaining discipline, like going to the gym but for your mind.
Key: learning is a process and commitment that’s worth setting aside time for on a daily basis.
12) You always give your best
If you’re in, you’re in.
You don’t do half-measures, and you don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.
From a young age, you’ve been a person who applies themselves fully or sits out.
You don’t dip a foot halfway in: you either jump in or stay out, and you bring this decisiveness to all areas of your life.
Key: in every area of your life aim for either committing yourself or saying no. Make a habit of giving your all when you commit.
Destiny begins now
Destiny is a powerful concept.
I believe in it, but I also believe destiny can be shaped and influenced by our choices.
This is your chance to choose your path and give your all.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”