I knew that I could talk when I was in Primary 5. The class Master held a party where we invited teachers. I was assigned to give a speech welcoming the head teacher. I did a stellar job—only that after my little speech, I looked around and the subject of my speech was not in attendance. Needless to say, that was potential at work.
Of course, I have talked about my writing skills and potential, how I knew that I was gifted in working with words. I however took a tangent and only started writing two and a half decades later! What a waste of potential.
Perhaps the most sinister thing about the subject of potential is in the definition. Words such as “Unused”, “Latent”, “Dormant”, and “Capacity for the future” and so on are used to describe potential. Unfortunately, it remains as it is defined. One can easily say that the most sinister thing about potential in people is that it remains faithful in its definition—never exploited.
One can easily say that the most sinister thing about potential in people is that it remains faithful in its definition—never exploited.
“The richest place is the graveyard” Myles Munroe has famously said and been quoted for decades now. Why? Because potential remains just that—potential. It is not exploited to the dregs of details that it ought to be. So you see people living way, way below their privileges.
There are different reasons as to why this is so. Part of the reasons are personal as in they can be attributed to unique individuals. However, part of the reasons as to why potential is not exploited are communal or societal. Either way, we have to look at ways we can overcome these things so we can start exploiting our God given potential.
Purpose and potential are connected to the hip. One tells out the other. One is the front end and the other is the back end. Potential is the hidden capacity and force that enables you to activate your purpose. Purpose is what matters to you, the reason for your existence.
If there was a reason for your existence, then there has to be the capacity to carry out that reason, that meaning. That capacity is your potential. It therefore goes without saying that if you find yourself living outside of your purpose in life, you might very well not be exploiting your God given potential.
All this potential will be doing is lying dormant, unused, unattended to. Of course you can still do many other things outside of purpose. Many people do. In fact, it is possible to live the so called full life and still live outside of your purpose.
You can own things, travel the world, have vacations and make money. But it is possible that in so doing, you still might not have fulfilled your purpose and therefore your potential will still have been dormant and unused. What a tragedy.
Therefore, if you wanted to exploit your potential, start gravitating towards a life of purpose. You can never go wrong with this.
I am not in any way bashing people about this. However, at times we live such a low life that the highlight of our lives is when we have successfully paid all our bills…and probably have some dime to spare for a drink or to eat out. It is possible to do this all our lives.
Unfortunately, that, in my estimation is way below our privileges. There is dormant unused power lying within us that can be activated when we aspire to live a life overflowing, a life that is beyond the mere survival and paying bills. This kind of a life involves making an impact, a contribution, a change and creating things in society that can benefit others.
Of course, we have to do a balancing act here. We have to pay bills, that’s a given. We have to pay taxes, that’s a given. But when 24 hours of the day are only spent on those two things, we are not exploiting our God-given potential. We are crowding it out.
I am aware that at times we can be so bogged down with bills and survival that we do not have time enough for our potential and its exploitation. However, we have to change our mindset and realize that the answers we seek in life are not outside of our potential. The very answers we want could actually be provided when we go out and start exploiting that potential.
But we don’t. Why? Because potential has a longer gestation period than our bills allow. At times potential takes years to mature, but the bills have to be paid today or at the end of the week or at the end of the month. So what do we do? We choose to hustle and survive and at the same time crowd out our potential.
It is a trap that plays in a continuous loop all our lives until such a time when we realize that was too late!