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.
What would I happily stop doing because I’ll never be great at it? Those are your weaknesses; ignore them.
Number 3: Declare. Set an intention and set that rocket of intention out into the universe. I work with thousands of entrepreneurs every year in our business school, and I insist, lovingly, that they create goal cards for everything that they want to achieve in their life. And they read it morning and night, morning and night and create new neural pathways of what they believe can be possible in the world. And believe it or not, these things happen.
Number 4: Believe. Believe in the fact that you can create great things. Perhaps you doubt yourself sometimes, we all do. But you’ve done many great things in your life. What seemed impossible is now easy, from tying your shoes by yourself many years ago, to riding a bike, to all of the different things that you’ve done.
You have done some amazing things in your life, and if you begin to write them down, and whenever presented with an opportunity to do something big, and you say, “Oh, I don’t have what it takes. I’m not good enough. I don’t have what it takes.”
You say, “Oh no. Once impossible, now easy. This, too, one day will become easy.”
Number 5: Protect yourself against naysayers. You see, when you have a goal – and your goal better be big and it better scare you or it’s not worth it – when you have a goal that seems crazy to somebody else, they’ll try to talk you off the ledge. Don’t let them. Go, “Lalalalala, I can’t hear you,” or don’t even tell them.
You see, people who try to talk you out of your goal also have potential for greatness; they just don’t know it yet. So choose not to associate.
Number 6: Commit to your dream, commit to your greatness. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one commits, definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. This is when all sorts of resources are coming your way, but you must take the first step boldly.
Number 7: Be brave. Do the thing that you don’t think you can do. This activates your greatness because magic does not happen within your comfort zone.
If you could have achieved greatness within your current comfort zone, you would have already. This is about stepping out of the familiar; this is about being slightly uncomfortable and daring to be courageous even though perhaps no one else is believing in you.
Number 8: Expect. Expect greatness, expect results even when what you want is not showing up. I have a mantra that I would like for you to adopt as well.
The mantra is, on a daily basis, “I am positively expecting great results no matter what I see in front of me. I know that the Universe is rearranging itself for my best interest right now.”
You say this all the time, and you are doing two things: one – you’re allowing yourself to be in this place of positive expectation that changes your personal vibration and allows good things to come into your life, but you’re also asking for divine guidance.
And what I’ve learned about people who create great things in the world is that they never do it alone. There is always some form of divine guidance at play.
Those are the eight activators that begin to move you into your potential for greatness. You see, you were born with a purpose, on purpose, for a purpose. And the way to achieve that purpose is to activate the great oak that is within you.
It is to say “yes” to something that you feel is bigger than you. This is about denying the smallness, denying the part of you that feels inadequate and perhaps not worthy or deserving or that you don’t have what it takes.
On your journey to greatness, there will be forces and people pulling you into believing that you are not that great after all, you are not that special. But there will be signs and happy coincidences and occurrences that will tell you otherwise.
Choose wisely. Believe in your potential. There is a reason why you are here. There is a reason why you were given these gifts – not to hoard, not to hide. All of those experiences, all of the trauma that you may have experienced, all of it was for a reason. You have been shaped for greatness. And so it is a choice, and you have free will.
Now, between living a vanilla life, as I call it, a mediocre existence, and one in which you feel alive and on purpose and you live a life of meaning and fulfillment every day knowing that because you were here, other people’s lives are different, that is truly magnificent.
In fact, you are magnificent, and I urge you to embrace your magnificence. Do so knowing that the world will never be the same since you walked this earth.