Unlocking Your Hidden Potential: Three Strategies to Awaken Your Best Self

Unlocking Your Hidden Potential: Three Strategies to Awaken Your Best Self

"Unlocking Hidden Potential: Insights from Organizational Psychologist Adam Grant"

In his latest book, "Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things," organizational psychologist Adam Grant challenges the common misconception that accomplishments are solely tied to innate abilities. Grant argues that individuals often give up on challenging pursuits under the assumption that they lack the necessary innate talent, and he offers valuable insights on unlocking one's hidden potential. Here are three key takeaways from the book:

Lean Into Discomfort:

Grant challenges the notion that tailored learning styles (visual, aural, verbal, etc.) are essential for effective learning. Instead, he presents research suggesting that individuals grow more when they step outside their comfort zones. Embracing discomfort and making mistakes along the way are integral to the learning process. According to Dr. Grant, "The way that you master knowledge and skills is by using them as you acquire them. If you don’t even make enough attempts to make mistakes, then it’s pretty hard to make progress."

Keep Things Interesting:

Grant highlights the importance of avoiding both burnout and its opposite, which he terms "bore out" — the emotional exhaustion resulting from chronic under-stimulation. Incorporating play and novelty into learning routines can combat boredom and foster continuous improvement. Drawing on an example from his book, Grant credits basketball player Stephen Curry's rapid improvement to a coach who prioritized variety and games in training sessions over repetitive drills.

Ask for (and Give) Advice:

Instead of seeking feedback focused on past performance, Dr. Grant suggests asking for advice, which directs attention to future improvement. Drawing from Harvard Business School research, he notes that individuals tend to perform better when they seek and give advice. Grant emphasizes that the advice given to others often mirrors the advice needed for personal growth. "The advice you can give to others is usually the advice you need to take for yourself," he states. "And sometimes you need to hear it out loud in order for it to resonate."

Grant's insights encourage individuals to reevaluate their approach to learning, embrace challenges, and actively seek opportunities for improvement. By leaning into discomfort, keeping things interesting, and fostering a culture of advice, individuals can unlock their hidden potential and achieve greater things. This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

"In conclusion, Adam Grant's 'Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things' challenges the misconception that achievements are solely tied to innate abilities. The key takeaways — leaning into discomfort, keeping things interesting, and seeking/giving advice — provide a roadmap for individuals looking to unlock their hidden potential. Grant's insights emphasize the importance of stepping outside comfort zones, incorporating play and novelty into learning routines, and actively seeking advice for continuous improvement.

By embracing these principles, individuals can reframe their approach to challenges, viewing mistakes as opportunities for growth and recognizing the value of diverse and engaging learning experiences. Grant's wisdom encourages a proactive and dynamic mindset, fostering a culture of curiosity and improvement. As we navigate the complexities of personal and professional development, these insights serve as a valuable guide to unlocking untapped capabilities and achieving greater things. This article originally appeared in The New York Times."