Humans Are Underrated

The three stages to unlimited potential

I believe that humans are underrated.

We put people in flying vehicles. We connect the world through cables and codes. We create arts that last many lifetimes.

At any time, you could accomplish more than you think possible. It won't be an easy task, and the path isn't always obvious.

Over the years, I have figured out that there are three stages in the process of maximizing our potential.

1. Self-management

The first stage is self-management. It's a process of understanding yourself, where you want to go, and next, allocating your resources—energy, time, and money—to get there.

Here, you ask questions like:

  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I want to go?
  • What do I have?
  • What can I do?

Most people either skip a few or simply ignore all of them.

While answering them isn't easy, the trick is not trying to get them right out of the gate. All you need is to have the answers and get moving into resource allocation.

Resource allocation is the key here. It's what you spend your energy, time, and money on and how you do it. I see it as the essence of self-management. You should be halfway there by allocating your resources well.

2. Synergy

The second stage is synergy. It's about connections and teamwork. Here, you learn how to work with others—to become coachable, to follow, to contribute, to lead, and to change other people's lives.

You become a part of other people's goals, and other people become a part of your goals. You exchange answers (to the questions above) and trade resources with people around you.

When you combine the first and second modes, you will start to see room for optimizations—to get more out of the resources you put in.

This is where one plus one equals three and more.

3. Reinvention

Lastly, the final stage is reinvention. Along the way, you might find out more about yourself. You're in a different place. And maybe you no longer want to go where you wanted to go. It's fine. Take the time to reassess what you want to have and do.

And by now, the resources available to you should be vastly different from when you first started.

  • You have more money and less time (or the opposite).
  • You know a thing or two.
  • You get good at exchanging resources.

Take the time to reevaluate, reallocate, and reoptimize them. When you're doing this, you're essentially reinventing yourself—to find a new purpose, set new goals, and explore the unknown.

Rule of the game

By the way, there's no end. We're constantly working in all of these three stages. And often, we're doing them simultaneously.

The rule of the game is not to be done with them but to get better at them. By the time you know it, you'll have accomplished more than you could ever imagine.

That's how and why you're underrated.

Footnotes

More recommended reads

What if the best way to accomplish more is by doing less?

Join Work Less to get practical insights and tips to help you work less, earn more, and live a better life—straight to your inbox—every Sunday.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

👆 Join 3,100+ leaders, creatives, and knowledge workers today.

Dean is a strong voice in the self-mastery space. His newsletter consistently delivers insightful ideas on how to become a better version of yourself and is the only newsletter that I always read.

Sebastian Kade

Head of product and engineering