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Be the Person You Are Capable of Being

Harrison Barnes
By Oct 10,2022
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You have the power to become the person you are capable of being. Although you will face external obstacles in the process of becoming this person, but your biggest challenges will be internal. Do not allow others to keep you down, but instead decide to excel on your own; in order to achieve your goals, direct all of your energies towards being the best person of which you are capable.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ”Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson

Several years ago, I was writing a newspaper article about a movie critic and political commentator, Michael Medved. Medved was asked why George Bush had lost the election to Bill Clinton. Medved said something along the lines of, ”Months before the election he had some of the highest approval ratings of any American president. In order to understand this, you just need to look at simple psychology. He lost because he wanted to.”

I thought about this statement a lot because it is true in so many aspects of our lives. We decide how far we want to go then sabotage ourselves at some point along the way. There are numerous reasons we do this, and I would like to review some of those reasons below.

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When I was about 15 years old, I was always getting into trouble. One night, I went out with my best friend and took down about 20 street signs around town in the middle of the night. I might have even been drunk. We did this on motorcycles. We were absolutely insane! I did end up returning the street signs to the city a couple of days later when my mom’s boyfriend found them in the garage.

I also want to note that, in this particular period of my life, I had so many friends it was unbelievable. The phone rang constantly. I would get calls in the middle of the night asking me to go somewhere and have fun. I grew up with a lot of wild kids. When I was 25 years old and living in New York City, I turned on the television and saw a kid I knew from my adolescent years on 20/20. He was in prison on a charge that was almost silly. One guy I knew was thrown in juvenile detention for a few months after he stole a meter maid’s cart and led the police on a chase.

I moved to Bangkok, Thailand, at the age of 15 after my father was transferred there. I was enrolled in an international school and quickly realized I didn’t have a lot of school mates interested in being wild. There was simply no place for that sort of behavior in this new environment. I had fun, but the people weren’t wild like the friends I had back in the United States. A lot of my classmates were from Taiwan and Japan, and they were very serious about school. Some were from places like Nepal, and many were from Israel. The idea of being a social misfit simply didn’t work there.

For weeks, I was very depressed. It was as if I was going through some form of withdrawal. I had no friends interested in being wild and no one at the school liked me for the wild guy I was. I couldn’t even call my friends back home. Instead of continuing to be wild, I had no choice but to fit in with the kids at the international school.

So I started applying myself. I ran for an officer’s position in the student council and won. I tried out for varsity soccer and made the team. I exercised daily. I started studying a lot. I worked as hard as I could. By the end of the year, I was a straight ”A” student and had the highest grades in my class. I became a completely different person.

When I returned from Bangkok in the summer after my year of school, I announced to my friends back home that I was different now, had much better grades, and so forth. I expected all my friends to be proud of me. Instead, they no longer wanted to socialize with me. They didn’t want to be friends with someone who took himself so seriously. They were interested in the person I was before. Throughout that summer I was depressed because these people were no longer interested in being my friend.

One morning around 7 a.m., a bunch of former friends showed up at my house in a van. They came in, woke me up, made some jokes then left. They seemed very wired, and on the way out one of them punched a hole in the screen door. They didn’t seem to know what they were doing. I found out later this group of friends spent the summer traveling around in the van doing cocaine, and the van was known as the ”coke van.” I have never done drugs at all and these guys had entered a completely different realm. None of these guys ever did anything with their lives.

Despite feeling isolated, I continued working hard and doing the best I could in school and in life. I ran for student government positions again and won. I continued to improve myself. As I improved, I found myself growing apart from the people around me. This is what happens as you keep improving. People around you aren’t always comfortable with this and you outgrow them or grow in different directions.

I want to make a point I believe is extremely relevant: as you grow, don’t look back. Your future will always be better than the past you leave behind. There are people who won’t like it when you grow, but your growth should motivate them to improve as well. You will find some people will grow right along with you, just in different ways.

I once received an email from one of our very talented employees requesting that I shouldn’t point out something very good that this person did in their job. The person was afraid of looking too talented in others’ eyes. The mistake many of us make is not allowing ourselves to be all we can be.

I want to be clear on something else as well: if you start living the life you want and try to be as successful as you really want to be, you will often face external opponents. However, the largest obstacle you will ever face is yourself. Never stand in the way of your own success. Embrace your capabilities.

In the movie To Die For, Nicole Kidman plays a reporter motivated to have an important career as a television journalist. In this movie, Kidman’s husband tries to prevent her from becoming a well-known and successful reporter. Parents, spouses, peers, and numerous others influence us every single day, and often this influence is an attempt to keep us down.

Never allow others to keep you down. The decision to excel is your own. You can do, be, and have everything you want. Now is the time to take charge of your life and be everything you are capable of being. You are one of the most special people ever. I can assure you that what is waiting for you is much better than never reaching your full potential.

About 10 years ago, I was at a bar in Detroit with my girlfriend. I was about to leave when I passed a table of people with whom I’d been friends before I began working hard and applying myself. I used to think they were the coolest people. While I won’t get into specifics, I didn’t want to be associated with those people anymore. None finished college and they did odd jobs like clean boats for a living. Deep down, I knew if I hadn’t moved to Bangkok and taken charge of my abilities, I would probably have had a very similar life.

Take charge and do everything in your power to be the person you are capable of being. You will like where you end up.


You have the power to become the person you are capable of being. Although you will face external obstacles in the process of becoming this person, your biggest challenges will be internal. Don’t allow others to keep you down. Instead, decide to excel on your own. In order to achieve your goals, direct all of your energy toward being the best person of which you are capable.

You have the power to become the person you are capable of being. Although you will face external obstacles in the process of becoming this person, but your biggest challenges will be internal. Do not allow others to keep you down, but instead decide to excel on your own; in order to achieve your goals, direct all of your energies towards being the best person of which you are capable.

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is the Founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter himself. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in a search and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive that gets results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities that its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

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15 Responses to “ Be the Person You Are Capable of Being”
  1. Avatar Betty Cochran says:

    very good!

    Thank you!

    Betty Cochran

  2. Avatar Gaurav says:

    There is large number of persons who overestimate or underestimate their capabilities. In either case they end up under-achieving in life. Those who have the gift of honest self-appraisal are able to recognize their true capabilities and use them to the maximum.

  3. Avatar shoumen says:

    Classified jobs are not posted every where. You can’t find jobs any where, some specific place are posted this types of jobs. Harrison Barnes Reviews is the best way to find new jobs.

  4. Avatar Divya says:

    A motivating and inspirational article. People can certainly derive immense benefit from the advice given by the writer citing the events of his own life.

    • Avatar Vherra says:

      I understand the hitetasion to pitch in for fear that will then become your job. But if something needs to be done dang it do it!Helps when the employees see the CEO pushing in the conference room chairs or picking up the phone occasionally.

  5. Avatar shoumen says:

    Harrison believes that the best stories typically revolve around the employee being very motivated to do a good job and continually wanting to improve in his or her employment.

  6. Avatar Rachael Sutton says:

    Mr. Barnes, this is an awesome, powerful, much-needed message. In this, you acknowledge having broken the law you now work to uphold. It also opens doors for further reflection. When you returned those signs, did you also repay the damages to minimize your cost to society? I noticed that the motivation to improve, for you, was external: your step-father made you return the signs, you had to change your behavior abroad because of peer pressure and society intolerance. What about internal change: feelings of remorse, realizing the risk to others lives by removing signs and by operating a motorized machine under the influence?

    While you are encouraging people, to be all they can be, and you extoll success, you haven’t acknowledged that it’s definition differs from person to person. You are very critical of people who have chosen to live simple lives. Have you considered that if a person chooses to be a boat washer, and every day, they wake up happy, are good to wife and children, are a responsible citizen, and do the best job of washing boats ever, they are a success? I have to take time to appreciate the garbage collectors, the housekeeping services at the hotels, and every person who chooses to do honest work for honest pay. There contribution is often more significant than most, just less glamorous, and only noticed when lacking.

    You have frequently repeated that you have never lost a case. Winning doesn’t always mean getting or keeping the most money for your client. It also means upholding the law, making sure that justice was served, and working to minimize everyone’s loss. A truly great lawyer also considers what is in the best interest of the other side.

    What I sense is that your true motivators today, just as they were back when you were that wild kid, are the adrenaline rush, and doing something that people don’t think can be done. You like feeling the accomplishment. I just hope you take time for reflection on the big picture of how those wins affect other people’s lives. Just because a door opens doesn’t mean you have to enter. In the best interest of your clients, they also need to be held accountable. If we want a great society, then each of us has a responsibility not only to uphold the law, but to also consider the affect of our actions beyond just ourselves.

    Thank you for this inspiring piece.

  7. Avatar Joe says:

    First let me congratulate you on achieving a “level of success” and then let me tell you how I can relate to some of the things you have said, but not all.
    When I entered law school, I had already started a very “successful” business and sold it. I was married with two children, commuting 40 miles each way to a job that would allow me to attend law school at night in Chicago. My wife took the children and moved over 300 miles away after my first semester, telling me that I would never make it as an attorney and suggesting that I quit and take a job with her father to be able to be home every night. In the next three years, I remarried a woman with twins, was robbed, beaten, and nearly killed three times, bought two houses, paying cash for one, renting it before the closing, then selling both a profit before moving to Florida where the job I was promised was given to someone else three days earlier.
    I became licensed in Florida and was called to take that position a year later. My direct supervisor’s only question in the interview was “How are you at working with a..holes, because I have been known to be an a…hole at times.” My response was “I have worked for a..holes in the past and I am sure I will work for a…holes in the future, but as long as they treat me like a professional, I will treat them like a professional.” My pay doubled in six months and I stayed with them for 11 years. I developed quite an exceptional reputation as an expert in my field and thought I was “successful”, until my second wife took the kids and moved to Denver. I took time off to try to readjust, staying with them until asked to leave by a new younger CEO who stayed two years, blew the budget and was fired. Prominent businessmen who knew my abilities have kept me earning a decent living in my private solo practice for over 11 years now; I remarried, traveled the world, and invested in foreign real estate again. I thought I was “successful.”
    My third wife left after 7 years without any further explanation other than “I can’t do this any more.” We were friends before the marriage and remain friends to this day, but rarely speak.
    I know the notion of being “successful” is the potion that drives us in this profession, but I caution everyone I know who practices law to be careful what you ask for, because you might be “successful” at it.
    Too many attorneys find that it is difficult to achieve “success” because the definition keeps changing. Find happiness and cling to it, share it and make others happy with who you are.

  8. Avatar aromiwura adedamola says:

    I totally agree…this article inspires and also bring to everyone’s knowledge that there’s more bottled up in us than we think. All we need to do is look deep. I’m so geared up that right now no matter the environment, I’m totally willing to be the best I can be not minding the friends that might be left in the process. One thing I also know is that, when one aspires to be the best he can be, there would be people there to help and those there to bring one down. Ma God give us the strength to make the right decision..

  9. Avatar Randy Troxel says:

    Excellent article, Mr. Barnes. Thanks especially for the M. Williamson quote.

  10. Avatar Charles Martin says:

    Interesting story. Most of my high-school classmates were (expletive deleted). I could not wait to be free of them.

  11. Avatar ED says:

    BE Do Have sounds like Scientology !

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