E dison said that if we can do all that we are possibly able to do, we will literally astound ourselves. We will be shocked by the kind of people we will become, the things we will do, the impact we will create and the joy we will have.
However, we don’t. The humans have a dubious reputation of not living up to their expectation or their potential. You cannot say the same with plants or animals in the wild. Those just grow and become the best versions of themselves. In other words, whatever possibility they have in growth, they exploit it.
There could be very many reasons and excuses as to why we do not exploit our potential. I could mention things such as status quo, ignorance, laziness, survival and all. That however, will not take away the fact that potential is there and it awaits to be excavated.
I do not even need to make a case for potential of all human beings. There is no one born without potential. I know some people will challenge me to make a scientific backing of my assertion, but that is not needed. The greatest curse you can put on a living thing is to rob it of its potential. Certainly, the Creator is not that cruel.
Daily, potential speaks to us. I have written about that in the previous articles. But do we listen? Even if we ignore, we will still know. The following are some of the ways you will know for sure that you are not exploiting your God-given potential
A friend of mine wrote a very powerful book, After University What Next? I got to talk to him one day about such matters and he shared with me a sad story. He said that there was a fine artist that he knew, such a gifted person that he had never see the likes before.
This fine artist though, ended up being a teller at a bank. Yes, Kudos for working. Work is such an important aspect of the human existence for it borders on our identity. However, I am more convinced than ever before that the quality of our work is connected to our potential.
Otherwise, we become machines. It is possible for us to “work” just churning out things and meeting targets and yet all along, we are gifted and talented. Those gifts and talents remain un-activated and untapped while we are working! And we work all our years until retirement. But the gifts and talents are still unused.
What is more important at the end of the day? Is it the quality of life we live or just being alive? If we are talking about the quality of our lives, then of course we will have to talk about living our best possible selves. You cannot do that unless you tap into your potential and excavate it.
If you are working and are not using any of your natural gifts and talents, you are not exploiting your potential. My advice is that whatever place you are at, start gravitating towards functions that will help you exploit your potential.
Work is a great thing, but work does always put hooks into your potential. What I mean is that as you are working, you will identify things that you can do that will excavate your gifts and talents. Find those, even if you are not being paid for them and do them.
Status quo is one of the greatest thieves of potential and purpose. The interesting thing in life is that we all come unique and well-crafted for special duty, if you will. However, what we find “on the ground” is a system that is designed to serve people that have already lived their lives.
Therefore, we design systems that make people to fit in. We wear uniforms, do the same examinations, sit in the same classrooms and study the same subjects. From childbirth to death, systems have been designed so that people can fit in.
Every time you find yourself “fitting in” even when your heart, especially when your heart is telling your to do something different, you are, sadly not fulfilling your potential. You are wasting it.
What is that talented footballer doing in a Biology class that he has failed to grasp for two years now?
What is that gifted writer doing in a Chemistry course that he is always at a loss of what the teacher said?
Why is that gifted business person doing as an employee for the second decade running?
They are fitting in. As long as they are fitting in, they are not fulfilling their God-given potential.
Standing out is the mark that you are doing what matters to you, probably what you were created to do. At times, rebels are people that we need to listen to. They could be talking about potential more than the status quo would want to listen or put up with.