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  • Colin Jonov

The Path to Joy, Fulfillment, and Self-Maximization: Four Defining Characteristics

We are all in search of joy, fulfillment, and self-maximization, and if you aren’t, you should be. Often, we struggle to figure out exactly how to accomplish those things. The answers aren’t always concrete or clear, and that can dissuade us from attempting. The unknown paralyzes us and prevents us from reaching our dreams. Well, let’s take today and quantify how we can reach joy, fulfillment, and self-maximization with four defining characteristics.

Identity: Who are you? What do you believe in? What values do you hold close to you? Do you live out those values and beliefs? To me, this is the most important topic that we can ever evaluate. Who are we really? The first step is to accept that our identity is constantly changing. We evolve as people. However, our identity is purely designed by our actions and words. Every single thing I physically do defines my identity. Every time I make a decision, I have to recognize that it is a measure of my character, who I am. When we can be cognizant of our choices and our decision-making, we can be more effective in who we actually are, not just who we say we are. It’s simple but complex at the same time, no different than sports. We must define what our values truly are. Whatever we hold dearest to our hearts, and then go and live out those values. We think the challenge lies in living out our values. I push back on that. I believe we struggle to live out our values more so because we struggle to identify where our values truly lie. A well-defined value should be the easiest thing to live out because that’s what you want to be recognized for. Define your true values. Then live.

Competence: What is your skill set? What are your abilities? This requires introspection as we often miss the mark here on our own self-evaluation. We consistently lie to ourselves, so it can be difficult to be truthful when it matters most. Nonetheless, we can do it. It requires us to evaluate what we have achieved, what we can achieve, and how powerful we can truly become. Our capabilities are a design of the skill sets we have and acquire. Thus, if you want to expand your competence, you need to work diligently on expanding your skills. However, something that gets lost in this discussion is traits that are unique specifically to us. Many people can misinterpret the Growth Mindset, famously donned by the great Carol Dweck. Carol Dweck’s research highly accepts elements of the fixed mindset. Where the fixed mindset is extremely valuable is when we are evaluating ourselves. What do we have that no one else can copy? The genetics of our DNA allow us all to be one of one. That means no one else can copy you. What separates you? What do you have that no one else on earth has? Lean into that and maximize it. Yes, developing new skills is tremendous. However, leaning into our natural God-given gifts is what separates us.

Resilience: What adversity can you endure and keep moving forward? Resilience is a constantly moving post. However, we can move that post further and further by challenging ourselves more and more. No, this does not mean putting 315 lbs on a bench bar if you can only bench 145 lbs. It means slowly but surely adding difficulty to your day every single day. Find ways to do “one more.” Your resilience, tenacity, and willpower are strengthened by your ability to overcome challenges. By constantly winning small challenges, you equip yourself with the capability to take on bigger challenges when they arrive. Don’t get it twisted, adversity can break you if you aren’t capable of withstanding it. We are solely responsible for our own resilience. We are responsible for developing and nurturing our response to obstacles. When you are constantly doing hard things, nothing life throws at you will be insurmountable. We just have to take the slow climb and be willing to do the hard things over and over again. When we do that, we expand how far we can go.

Commitment: There’s no real way around this one. Simply put, what are you willing to do? This alone will answer most of your questions. Truthfully, what are you willing to do that’s going to earn you the right to maximize yourself? Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary? Are you willing to live out your values? Are you willing to do the work necessary to enhance your competence and resilience? Everything in life is designed to rely on our commitment to do the work. Do the little things. Fall in love with the routines that determine our own excellence. None of the first three points of this post matter without your commitment to who you are, what you can do, what you can endure, and what you are willing to do. It’s this step alone that matters most. Without your commitment, everything else in life is a fallacy with fake confidence. You can’t lie to commitment. Commitment will humble you quickly if you think you can outsmart it. Do what you say you’re going to do.

Everything we want in life is attainable. We just have to quantify it and work at it. Joy, fulfillment, and maximizing who we are is right around the corner. We just have to understand what it takes to get there. Let’s enhance who we are, what we are capable of, and what we can endure through our commitment to ourselves.

To Building Fortitude forever and always.

Best Regards,

Colin Jonov, Founder & CEO Athletic Fortitude

P.S. Want to share your experiences or challenges with us? Reply to this newsletter or connect with me on social media @ColkyJonov10. I’m here to support you on your journey!

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