January 26

Maximizing Your Potential

Maximizing Your Potential

By Deborah Johnson

January 26, 2024

adaptability, confidence, consistent habits, continuous learning, Deborah Johnson, Goal setting, habits, lifelong learning, long term goals, maximizing your potential, podcast, resilience, routines, short term goals, the hero inside

Some of you remember how the Sony Walkman made listening to recordings conveniently easy and is a good example of maximizing your potential. It was revolutionary to listen on a portable cassette player and the Walkman happened because Masaru Ibuka and Norio Ohga took the risk to revolutionize the way people listened to music. Sony was concerned about the marketability of a portable audio device as well as miniaturizing the necessary technology for high-quality sound. Would people be willing to pay for such a device? It’s a good thing they forged ahead as it revolutionized the way we were able to access media.

J.K. Rowling is another example of someone who faced significant challenges. Her inspiring story is another demonstration of maximizing your potential. As a single mother living on welfare, she never gave up on her dream of being a writer. She spent hours and hours working on her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in local cafes, pouring her imagination and creativity into the magical world she envisioned. Because she didn’t quit, even after a number of rejections, she ended up achieving tremendous success as a best-selling author as well as gained the freedom to support charitable causes.

Maximizing your potential largely relies on the actions you take that are aligned with your core beliefs and values. Those values, when fleshed out, lead to a strong purpose-driven life. (see Appendix in Stop Circling) To develop that purpose in maximizing your potential, we cover five principles: belief in yourself, continuous learning, setting clear goals, developing resilience and adaptability and consistent habits and routines.

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Maximizing Your Potential with Deborah Johnson 1-30-2024
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One: Belief in Yourself

Having confidence and a positive self-belief is foundational. It is essential to embrace the belief that you have the ability to learn, grow, and succeed. You are worth this belief in yourself. Discover your capabilities, then trust in your capabilities with a growth mindset and understand that setbacks are part of the journey toward success.

A growth mindset revolves around the idea that talents and abilities can be developed and improved through dedication, effort, and learning. Individuals with a growth mindset embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see failures as opportunities for growth, and believe that their potential is not fixed but can be expanded through hard work and learning. On the other hand, a fixed mindset is characterized by the belief that abilities and intelligence are static and cannot be significantly changed. People with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges for fear of failure, see effort as fruitless if they believe they lack natural talent, and view setbacks as confirmation of their limitations rather than opportunities for growth. Which are you? Believe in yourself with a growth mindset to see challenges as opportunities for learning and development.

Two: Continuous Learning

Today, the accessibility of online learning has reached unprecedented levels. A vast array of courses is available, spanning diverse subjects from auto mechanics and music instruction to specialized areas like dog grooming. These courses encompass a broad spectrum of topics, including technology, business, arts, science, humanities, languages, and beyond. They accommodate learners at various proficiency levels, offering options for beginners seeking fundamental knowledge to advanced learners aiming for specialized expertise. Furthermore, the online platform extends its reach to higher education, enabling individuals to pursue educational degrees, including PhDs and doctorates in select fields. With this immense accessibility and range of offerings, there's truly no reason to forego opportunities for continuous learning and personal growth in today's digital landscape.

As individuals reach the mid-career stage or the midpoint of their lives, many find themselves ready for a change or eager to delve into pursuits they've long dreamed of exploring. Fortunately, the training and resources needed for these endeavors are often readily available. The crucial step involves making a dedicated commitment to initiate this change, starting with a well-structured plan and a genuine openness to embracing fresh ideas, alternative perspectives, and the acquisition of new skills. To maximize continual learning requires embracing a growth mindset.

Three: Setting Clear Goals

Given the common experience of failed goal-setting and resolutions, many individuals might opt out of this practice altogether. However, this decision is often influenced by the realization that goals set are frequently unrealistic or lack clear measurability. Success becomes far more attainable when goals are aligned with one's core values and personal interests. Make sure you read the appendix of Stop Circling for help with reviewing and affirming core values.

Stop Circling Book-1

Rather than abandoning the notion of setting goals entirely, the emphasis should be on establishing realistic, measurable objectives, both short-term and long-term, that resonate deeply with individual values and passions. Embracing a growth mindset during the goal-setting process promotes consistent advancement and increases the odds of success as well as tremendous satisfaction.

Four: Resilience and Adaptability

Just as a tree fortifies itself against the elements by developing layers of protective bark, building resilience involves creating mental and emotional fortitude to weather life's storms. Challenges and setbacks correspond to the harsh environmental factors a tree faces, such as extreme weather or pests. Similarly, in life, adversities can impact our mental and emotional well-being.

Initially, our response to setbacks might not always involve immediate resilience. However, by actively confronting and overcoming these challenges, much like a tree forming protective layers of bark, we gradually develop resilience. Listen to the song The Hero Inside for inspiration! (see video: The Hero Inside) I wrote the phrase:

“Standin' in the food line, humbled to the core, not doin' what you've worked hard for. You can break free, with all that you can be, oh you can, yes you can” 

based upon an interview I had with an engineer out of work doing what he had to do to feed his young family. He got through it and is doing very well today, maximizing his management skills to help other businesses grow. Our mindset, attitudes, and coping strategies serve as the equivalent of the tree's bark, acting as protective layers against life's difficulties. With time and experience, we build up mental strength and emotional resilience, much like a tree's outer layers, to shield ourselves from the negative impacts of adversity and hardship. This adaptability is crucial in today's rapidly changing world; being flexible and open to change allows us to adjust strategies and approaches when necessary.

Five: Consistent Habits and Routines

Disciplined habits and routines are extremely important for maximizing your potential. Whether it's dedicating time daily for skill-building, exercising, or working on your projects, consistency and discipline are essential for long-term success. Changing or adding one small habit can truly change your life.

In Atomic Habits by James Clear, the success of the British cycling team is highlighted as a result of implementing small but impactful habits. Through a systematic approach of focusing on marginal gains, the team aimed to make tiny improvements in various areas. They adopted habits like optimizing nutrition, improving bike design, enhancing the athletes' training regimen, and even optimizing sleep patterns. By focusing on these seemingly minor habits, the cumulative effect resulted in remarkable success. The team went from being relatively average to dominating the cycling world, winning multiple Olympic gold medals and Tour de France titles. This transformation underscores the power of small habits and their collective impact in fostering significant improvements and achieving extraordinary success. It’s an inspiring example for us to demonstrate how the little changes we make can and will make a huge difference if we are consistent and don’t quit!


To summarize all of this, maximizing your potential is a journey that requires patience, perseverance, and commitment. Embrace these principles as guiding pillars in your quest for personal and professional development.

Belief in Yourself: Having faith in your abilities and strengths lays the foundation for personal growth and success, fostering confidence in tackling challenges.

Continuous Learning: Embracing a mindset of lifelong learning fuels personal development, broadening perspectives, and enhancing skills.

Setting Clear Goals: Establishing specific, achievable goals provides direction and motivation, guiding efforts towards desired outcomes.

Developing Resilience and Adaptability: Building resilience enables the ability to bounce back from setbacks, while adaptability fosters flexibility in navigating changing circumstances.

Consistent Habits and Routines: Implementing disciplined habits and routines cultivates consistency, enhancing productivity and progress toward set objectives.


Stop Circling: Steps to Escape Endless Roundabouts by Deborah Johnson

The Summit: Journey to Hero Mountain by Deborah Johnson

Hero Mountain Summit 5-month online journey

Maximizing your potential largely relies on the actions you take that are aligned with your core beliefs and values. 

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning

1,379 words

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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