Tony Dungy’s 15 Keys for Reaching Your Full Potential

Tony DungyTrue success is not defined by wins and losses, but by whether or not you’re living up to your full potential. That is why history’s greatest achievers, coaches, and athletes will tell you that success is a choice. No matter what your chosen profession is, what kind of competition you’re up against, who you are, or where you come from; you—and only you—can determine whether you are living up to your potential.

Reaching your full potential means becoming the very best version of yourself, and you are always in complete control of whether or not this happens.

Tony Dungy is a man who knows plenty about what it takes to reach your full potential. One of only three people to win the Super Bowl as a coach and as a player, Dungy uses these 15 keys as a guide to reaching your potential…


1- Be positive. Your mind if more powerful than you think.

2- Build high expectation into others.

3- What is down in the well comes up in the bucket. Fill yourself with positive things.

4- Your education matters. Don’t cut corners—you’ll only cheat yourself if you don’t learn the material.

5- Sports are great…as a complement to academics.

6- Find employment that excites you for reasons beyond the salary.

7- Make conservative decisions with debt.

8- Don’t take hassles from work home with you.

9- Goals are important, but make sure they are worthy goals—you just might reach them!

10- Don’t fear risk—life is an adventure, not a dress rehearsal.

11- Make the best decisions you can after deliberation and prayer, but don’t second-guess yourself. You did the best you could.

12- Be careful with mind-altering substances, even legal ones. Addiction can sneak up and destroy your life.

13- Don’t be afraid to be different.

14- You will fail. Remember that, but don’t fear it.

15- True toughness is how you respond to adversity.


— Tony Dungy, from his book Uncommon

If you ever find yourself struggling with a decision or wondering if you’re still on the right path, read through Tony Dungy’s 15 rules and they will get you back on track.

It’s not easy living up to your full potential, but the 15 rules listed above are an excellent road map for making sure you do so.