S everal times, people have complimented me for things that I have taken for granted. As late as this morning, someone after reading one of the articles I did commented that they keep wondering if they really know me. This is a dear friend that we have done life with for over five years now. What feedback we get from people is, like I have said previously, the voice of potential speaking to us.
For some reasons though, we are not good at fulfilling our potential. We ignore it. The richest place remains the graveyard for the very reason that people do not harness their potential. There is no human being that you can point at and tell me that they do not have potential for anything.
Potential is the capacity to do stuff. It is latent force, unspent, dormant and latent energy. In other words, it could be. However, that remains just that in very many people’s lives. The reality hits them when they are older and have less options. It’s a sad situation around the world. However, whenever you see success and incredible things being done, it will be because potential was exploited.
Just what are some of the reasons why people do not exploit potential? How can you catch yourself in the act of not fulfilling your God-given potential? The following things come to mind.
At times you can see potential on the surface. Even then, people still take it for granted. However, for the most part, potential is hidden. It is not obvious until certain conditions are conducive for it to come to the fore. For instance, I never knew I had a power to write until I was given a test to do it.
This is where the power of introspection comes in. To introspect is to deliberately and intentionally ask tough, pointed questions of you in order to unearth something. The more you carry on an introspection, the more you discover the things that could be and they are not yet exploited.
The more you carry on an introspection, the more you discover the things that could be and they are not yet exploited.
We do introspection by the use of probing questions. The good thing about these questions is that there are no right or wrong answers with them. There is no marking scheme with personal introspection. You cannot graduate or score a certain percentage when you do this exercise.
Probably it is the reason why it is never asked of students in many education systems. It is amazing that personal introspection is mostly done by adults…or by students later on trying to figure out the general direction that their career will take. That’s a bit too late on to uncover your potential.
If you ever look at your life and see that the last time you carried out a personal introspection was years ago, even months ago, then you will know that chances are high that you might have missed on exploiting your potential.
It is because we have no problem taking action. However, not all action that we take on a daily basis contributes to excavation of our potential. In fact, if you looked carefully you will find that it is possible to have an action packed day that did nothing to contribute to your potential.
That is where introspection comes in. Sit back and review your day, or your week, or your month. The shorter the interval of time between the reviews the much better. Be ruthless with the feedback you get from those reviews and act on them immediately. If you do not know how to do this, try and google.
It happens all the time. Get a group of people in a room. Ask them a question: How many of you here have gifts and talents? Only a handful people will raise their hands and at that, they will not be confident about it. I have repeated this exercise over and over again and I have always received those baffling and heart-breaking statistics.
It goes without saying that if you do not believe you are gifted in any way, you are unaware of your potential. If you are unaware of something, you possibly cannot use it. If you ever found yourself saying that you are not gifted or talented in any way, you are not fulfilling your potential. That’s a great danger that you need to stem out of your life.
First of all, everyone is gifted. You cannot tell me that there is a special group of people that do not have any special gift, either naturally or spiritually or intellectually. All of us have something unique that we can do. However, for as long as the thought pattern prevails that gifts and talents are for only special people, those who hold that school of thought will keep their potential unexploited. Let’s keep this conversation going in the next article.