What is potential? I like the definition that is an untapped energy source or a latent ability that can be developed and lifted.
When have we reached our potential? I do not know if anyone can answer that question. With ideal conditions, we may have gone further in our goals. Maybe though, the obstacles that got in our way were actually catalysts to strengthen us to push on further.
We do know that part of reaching our potential is choosing a supportive community and culture to thrive in.
It is imperative that we find our tribe, a group of fellow travellers in a supportive culture who catch us up in their ‘slip stream’ like the cyclists who shelter each other from the oncoming air.
Tony Campolo, Professor of Sociology at Eastern University talked about a study done of fifty, 95 year olds who were asked what things they would do if they had their lives over again. Among the many responses, three continued to be dominant. The majority responded that: they would reflect more; they would risk more and do more that would live on after they had died.
In my career coaching services, I coach and guide people to make the best of their opportunities in the hope that they will come towards the finishing line and feel contented that they did their best, without regret.
‘It is more sad to die with potential than with mistakes. Don’t die with potential… hard to spend at that point, so stop waiting.” -Dr. Henry Cloud
If we are surrounded by the respect and love of those we served, with the knowledge that we grew in character and left things better than they were when we arrived, I think we have done something worthy and honourable.
In one of my previous articles, I talked about our attitudes towards those lucky athletes, and how many envy their success in their fields of endeavour as if they just wandered onto the sport fields one day and miraculously performed without any previous effort or commitment.
We need to live up to our potential to honour the lives that we have and those who have walked with us.
Let’s put in the effort this week to dare to go further than the acceptable! Remember that being different is your biggest asset and you don’t have to be like everyone else.
About the Author:
Dave is an Adult Educator, Speaker and Youth leader living in Western Sydney, Australia where he teaches the Electrical Trades at the Western Sydney Institute. He has Diplomas in Business and Training, a Bachelors Degree in Adult Education, Vocational and Workplace Training and a Masters of Education with a major in Career Development. He has lived with Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders since an early age. He is married with 6 children. He is a passionate coach and mentor to young people especially in the vocational guidance and career development areas. Dave is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia and has authored a course on Living with Tourette’s which you can study and purchase online.