Here is the full text of author Fabienne Fredrickson’s talk titled “Activating Your Potential for Greatness” at TEDxNewBedford conference.
Fabienne Fredrickson is an inspirational mentor to thousands of clients worldwide, an author, international speaker and founder of The Client Attraction Business School™ and ClientAttraction.com.
Listen to the MP3 audio here: Activating Your Potential for Greatness by Fabienne Fredrickson at TEDxNewBedford
Fabienne Fredrickson – TEDx Talk TRANSCRIPT
What if everything in your life up to now has not been random? What if, in fact, everything – the good and the not-so-good – has gone exactly according to plan?
I’d like for you to imagine that you are in your home, and you are entertaining friends and family and they’re all in the other room, and I’d like for you to imagine that you’re baking up some brownies.
And you know, if you’re a baker like me, you know that when that brownie is almost done, the hit of chocolate gets into the air and it’s irresistible.
And imagine that because that hit of chocolate got into the air, somebody comes in, let’s say your friend, and says, “What are you doing in here? It smells divine.” And imagine that your response is “Never mind. This is none of your business. Get out.”
Startled, they leave. You take the brownies out of the oven, you cut them up, you lift them and put them onto a tray, and instead of picking up your tray and going towards your friends and family to share your brownies, imagine instead that you decide to go in the other direction, sit down at the kitchen table and eat every single brownie by yourself.
What does that make you? Greedy, stingy – right? Because you’re not sharing your brownies.
Well, I have long believed, based on my own journey and working at this point, for the last 15 years with tens of thousands of people, I have long believed that we are each given certain talents and unique abilities and skills and inclinations and the way that we are wired, perhaps skills that we take for granted.
We have also been given experiences – the good ones and the not-so-good ones. We look the way look, and we sound the way we sound, and we show up in the world in the way we show up, and I believe that these make up who we are.
And I believe that everything that we’ve experienced is a divine gift. It is not to be taken for granted, and it is to be shared. Once you learn something, once you experience something, it is our duty to serve, to go forth and serve.
And yet if we take all of our lessons and our experiences and who we are, and we don’t go out there and be of service to others, I believe, much like the brownies, that we become stingy and greedy and lonely.
And so I’ve long been talking about our divine and moral obligation to go out there, in a big way, and to serve in only the way that we can serve.
Because within us, each and every one of us, is the potential for greatness. I believe that in every single person in this room and, in fact, every single person out there in the world, that we have within us the unique brilliance, the unique talent to fill a very specific need in the world. Not just me, not just you, but every single person.
Socrates spoke of this in terms of entelechy. And entelechy meaning the potentiality that is within every living thing, within you, within every aspect of nature. In fact, the potentiality of the acorn is to become a great oak tree.
The acorn, when activated, cannot become an orange tree. It can only become a great oak tree; it’s wired that way. And I believe that you are wired in the same way for greatness.
Derived from the Greek word for having a goal, entelechy is a particular type of motivation, a need for self-determination, and an inner strength and a vital force from within directing life and growth to become all that one is capable of being.
Everyone has entelechy. And I’ll go so far as to say that the unseen force, whether you call it God, Universe, Goddess, All-that-is, the unseen force that created worlds created you. And in much the same way as there is the yin to the yang and the yang to the yin, there is a piece of that unseen force in you. God is within you and you are within God.
And if you are a child of source, of creation, then somehow you have that force within you to create things that seem almost impossible.
You see, the apple does not fall far from the tree, and cats don’t make dogs, and orange trees don’t produce figs. And so I want you to start thinking, from this day forward, that you are actually equipped for great creation. Anything that you set your mind to and believe, you can actually create because you are a child of source.
And the truth is that you are wired for greatness, much like the acorn, you are wired to create great things. But if you understand the role of metaphysics, and the role of quantum physics and quantum mechanics, you will also understand that anything you put your focus on repeatedly and with emotion will manifest itself. Greatness is within you.
So the question for you today is “What would I attempt if I could not fail?” If I had the opportunity to make this world a better place in only the way that I can make it a better place, what would I attempt? That is the question that I’d like you to think about now and in the times to come.
You see, activating your potential for greatness is a choice. It is a fork in the road; you have free will; you can choose not to activate the greatness that is within you in the same way that if I – imagine that I am holding an acorn – if I left this acorn on the stage and did not activate it by planting it in fertile soil and giving it sunlight and water and everything that it needs, that acorn would not be activated and would not become the great oak tree.
And so in the same way, you, your greatness must first be activated. And what I’d like to share with you are eight steps to begin activating your potential for greatness should you want to live a life of meaning and fulfillment.
Number 1: Align everything that you do in your life with your passions. Steven Pressfield, in the “War of Art,” said,
“Look in your own heart. Unless I’m crazy, right now a small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you.”
You see, your passions aren’t random. Put your ear down to your heart and listen hard. What are you passionate about? Who do you want to fight for? Who do you want to be a hero to? What books can you not stop reading? What moves you to tears? What stirs your soul? Your passions are not random; they are your calling.
Number 2: Maximize the gifts that were given to you. You see, I have gifts that perhaps you don’t have, and you have gifts that perhaps I don’t have. And that is on purpose. This is where I ask that you be very selective about which parts of you you strengthen and which you don’t.
This is about strengthening your strengths and ignoring your weaknesses. Ask yourself: what am I passionate about and uniquely gifted at? Those are your strengths; you want to strengthen those.