“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest” – Maya Angelou
Every man yearns to express his potential through his life and work. The dictionary defines potential as: latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.
It was Steven Pressfield who acknowledged, “The song we’re composing already exists in potential. Our work is to find it.”
Potential evokes the impression of an idle car, roaring with possibility before hurtling down the road. It is the car’s engine and driver that decide the car’s speed. Yet, without someone to take control of the vehicle, there is little potential to speak of.
I recall taking an elective subject in automotive design at university. The lecturer, a former automotive designer, spoke of how the badge ornament for the Ford Mustang, the galloping wild horse, came to be. The final design has come to evoke a sense of movement and potential, so that even while stationary, the car conveys the image of movement.
Regrettably, many people are held back by limiting beliefs, fears and doubts related to their potential. Left unchecked, these destructive energies perpetuate into a contracted self-worth.
Whatever you buy into long enough and with enough conviction, forms your reality.
We recognise potential within ourselves foremost when we abide by our highest distinction. In doing so, it summons our dormant strengths and commitment toward greatness.
Consequently, the power of potential is the idle horse ready to gallop.
Potential necessitates discipline, attention and commitment to bring it to life. “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free,” declared Michelangelo.
It must be said that potential is harnessed when you give yourself to the process. The greatest minds in history began life with little potential. Abraham Lincoln’s learning difficulties as a young man is an example of one who transformed potential into achievement.
To cultivate potential, we hold steadfast to move in the right direction, without becoming fixed on the path which leads us there. Potential must be obvious to the individual and is accompanied with passion and desire.
“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes time. Vision with action can change the world,” states futurist and author Joel A. Barker.
In a video blog titled How to Nurture Greatness, I allude to self-awareness as being a favourable virtue to understanding your strengths and limitations. We must emphasise our strong points while coming to terms with our weaknesses.
Make it your duty to nurture your strengths since passion and enthusiasm alone only get you so far.
An indomitable will, spawned by inspiration rouses potential.
“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channelled toward some great good.” – Brian Tracy
It is through dedicated focus toward a vision or dream that transforms desire into action since strong aspirations alone are insufficient.
“The difference between those people living their potential and those who don’t, is not the amount of potential itself, but the amount of permission they give themselves to live in the present,” avows spiritual teacher and author Marianne Williamson.
Whatever is possible is attributed to the mind that can conceive it.
The realisation of our goals and dreams are constrained only by our limiting beliefs. They slow if not halt progress altogether, because the same creative intelligence that manifests our desires, also gives birth to our insecurities.
The power to unleash potential is overcome by rising above our obstacles, instead of being defeated by them.
Potential is clothed in: hard work, an indomitable will, commitment and courage. To take a contrasting view, I equate lack of potential to simmering water which never boils because the heat is turned down.
In recent times there’s been much discussion given to the widely held opinion we use ten percent of our brain power. Whilst acknowledged as an urban myth, I believe we are yet to tap into our other faculties, such as intuition or the deeper subconscious mind to harness potential.
In The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg suggests we reveal our potential by developing sound habits. Many people’s failures are attributed to poor habits gained throughout their lifetime.
To nurture potential, we form a strong foundation to harness those gifts and nurture them as we evolve.
I am fond of the saying, Life doesn’t know what it will become until you create it.
Similarly, author Michael Talbot who wrote The Holographic Universe affirms, “We are not born into the world. We are born into something that we make into the world.”
Potential exists in all living things and is the lifeblood of universal intelligence. To allow this intelligence to act through us brings to life that which resonates with our deepest self. The same energy which gives birth to our ambitions does so at the right time and not a moment sooner.
“Everything in the Universe, including you, your soul, everyone else, and every soul, participates in a continual unfolding of potential,” avows the American spiritual teacher Gary Zukav.
You cannot escape your potential any more than refusing to inhale oxygen from the air surrounding you. However, how you use that potential forms the foundation for life to express herself through you.
Steven Pressfield struck upon a crucial point in the opening quote: that all potential exists within the space-time realm.
Your task is to birth that potential by giving it life through: dedication, commitment and inspired action.