What is power?

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What is power? When we speak of the powerful, or people who have power, what do we mean?

Crusader's Ascent

The clearest definition in my head is that power is the gap, or the absence thereof, between intention and result.

Those who have power have almost no gap between intention and result. Think it, say it, and it is done.

Those who have little power have a gigantic gap between intention and result. Think it, say it, and fall far short of the goal, perhaps without any visible progress.

Power isn’t a static metric. It’s relative to the result you are attempting to create. Pick a result that you can achieve easily, and you can see the gap shrink between intention and result. You intend to have a certain food for lunch that’s already in your possession, and so the gap between intention and result is virtually nonexistent. You have that power. You want to get a workout in before dinner, and as long as you don’t talk yourself out of it, you close the gap between intention and result.

Pick a result that you have no hope of achieving and the gap between intention and result cannot be achieved except by exceptional luck, such as meeting your favorite celebrity, becoming an overnight millionaire, or losing 100 pounds in a week without surgical intervention. No matter how strong your intentions are, you can’t close the gap between your intentions and the result you want.

To add more focus to your life, figure out what power you do have and what power you need to work towards.

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


One response to “What is power?”

  1. whitneyhoffman Avatar

    I love this definition. And it emphasizes how much power we all have if we direct it properly to create change 🙂

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