What Is Personal Power?
Personal power is directly related to your generative capacity. It’s when you stop reacting and begin to increase the space between stimulus and response. Those without personal power are reactive, egoic, take no responsibility, and uninspired.
Why? Because they live in the long term results of pandering to their comfort zone. And when it comes to comfort zones, one thing is clear. The more you thread upon the edge of the zone, that is seek discomfort, the larger your zone of comfort becomes as your general abilities increase.
When you have personal power you are liberated from the pull of fear and scarcity. That is to seek in others what you ought to give yourself. You realize that there is nothing out there that can shake you unless you shake yourself.
What does that mean? Nothing can have power over you unless you give it away. No object, no human, no event. The essence is to stop giving it away and reclaim all the power you lost. This is where autonomy comes in. Because personal power is the ability to be, do, and show up independent from your external surroundings. It’s a certain resilience, a form of robustness, or, for those familiar with the term, antifragility.
When these things are in place, we become a true force of nature. We define the ground we stand on. We don’t subordindate ourselves to our thoughts. We don’t seek in others what they can’t give. We don’t chase status symbols. We are at peace with ourselves. And that unleashes massive amounts of energy, because we finally stop compensating for our insecurities and presumed inadequacies.
The best way to think about it is also the best way to train it. Rather than to think of it as personal power, think of it as generative capacity. Generative capacity is the ability of ability.
That is the degree and ease with which you can vitalize the abilities you have, and the mindset that makes you immune to the regressive call of comfort and connect with your will to power. I developed Leap training to increase generative capacity and make exceeding yourself the default disposition.
What regression really means here is the diminishment of your ability to do, think, and act. You can observe this happening in your life. You seek objects to feel good about yourself. You seek proximity to people because they give you a feeling of self that you can’t reach on your own. You chase accolades to convince yourself of something you didn’t allow yourself to believe.
Or we might look at the younger generation, having more ‘friends’ and followers than ever, yet are entirely incapable to meaningfully connect with any of them, let alone themselves. While all these can attest to having a certain degree of comfort, their power has atrophied because they can’t generate what they have.
The will to power is source of all your abilities. Because it’s the disposition that makes you take a risk, let go of your habits, un-attach from the ordinary, and unlock the extraordinary.
Some of its obvious side effects are increased drive, impulse control, intelligence, meta-intelligence, focus, and personal power/generative capacity. It’s the essential drive behind innovation, freedom, excellence and self-improvement.
And doesn’t the phrase already give it away? Personal power is power that is personal. Power that is independent from external tools, means, and conventions. It is by definition existential and the autonomy of being in control and developing more control.
Some people misunderstand what personal power means. It’s not a desire to dominate, or to subjugate others, neither is it some coercive and manipulative tendency. It’s the power of knowledge and the capacity to let go of all that knowledge to discover more. It’s the power to intend without dependency on the outcome yet still give everything you got.
Our society trains exactly the opposite of personal power. It conditions the regressive impulse, the will to comfort. It erodes our generative capacity and autonomy by driving us to false success by instilling a fear of discomfort.
That’s why most people have so little of it. The need to compensate feeds the regressive tendencies and the will to comfort. Also known as the existential contingency plan. “I will do X once I have done this”, “I will follow my dreams once X”. Or with more perspicacity, “I will be my own master once my master is satisfied with my work.” And that never happens by the way. Your master will only let you go when you're of no use anymore.
When you develop personal power and increase your generative capacity, you reach a level of centered and calm confidence that frees you from the compensatory and regressive impulses that are the will to comfort. You are fearlessly liberated because you know that all the power in the world is the power you gave away. And the source of all power that is there for you to amass is your generative capacity.