What can you do?

We spend a lot of our time comparing ourselves to others, consciously or subconsciously. Others become a measure of ourselves. They become our standard.

The problem with this type of thinking is that we don’t know others as well as ourselves. Yet, we still insist on using them as a yardstick. Others anchor our imagination and thinking. We have a natural tendency to conform to a culture, and if don’t question it, can find ourselves striving towards goals that are not ours, doing things we don’t want to do, only because it is the norm.

I ask myself a simple question to counteract this problem and make me think about my own abilities and potential:

What can I do?

Every word of that question is crucial.

What reflects the concrete goals, dreams and aspirations. It kickstarts my imagination.

Can is all about control. There is an awful lot of things that are outside my control. I need to focus my energy on what I can control.

I is about knowing myself. I don’t know anyone like I know myself. That’s why I should base my goals on my experience of life. I should not focus on what others have done, but what I can do. We all have our ego. We are all unique, from the tips of our fingers to the neurons of our brain. But what good is uniqueness if it’s not leveraged and shared?

Do forces me to focus on actions. It’s about getting concrete. Only action leads towards progress.

Perhaps I can write a fantasy book filled with neuroscience that teaches and entertains, because of my love for fantasy and self-improvement (aka learning).

Or I can create a life-changing application because of my experiences in gaming, design, programming and education.

Or I can start a group that meets and discusses interesting topics because I want to get people together and also simply because it’s easy to do it.

There is an enormous space for non-obvious innovation. For connecting the dots only you can connect.

It’s not about building the next Facebook, it’s about doing what you can do to enrich and improve this world. It’s about asking questions like: what can I do?

What can you do?