writer opens up a new blank page whether on the computer, his dairy or writing pad and stares at a distance, his pen dancing in his hands. It is a dry day or so he thinks. He has been writing inspirational stuff all his life, but now has been challenged to write a fictional thriller. Can he say that he has no potential to do that? He cannot excuse himself because he at first is a writer. If he was not gifted in writing, probably that would be a reason enough.
We woke up to news in 2018 August that Apple Inc had become the first company in history to hit the one Trillion Dollar Mark in value. Reading their history though, one is intrigued with how many “New” things that they went out to do. They would have remained adamant that their potential or field of specialization would only be in creating incredible computers. However, they dared to do new things that stretched their potential to the core. They are the enduring modern example of fully exploiting potential. It is no wonder that financial success is directly proportional to how much they exploited their potential.
Let’s go back to our writer. Even though he does have the potential, he is a little bit comfortable with writing the inspiration. Fiction is a new ball game altogether. It requires him to think. It compels him to get out of his comfort zone. It compels him to research, ask questions, talk to people who are doing it. It compels him to start appreciating the work of other writers who are doing fiction and see it in a different light. It forces him to do a 180 degrees turn and be the audience instead of the author he has been all the time. Before he knows it, he is actually digging around and excavating things that he didn’t know about himself.
There is this saying that if we do what we have always done, we will get what we have always got. The question is: where is the place of potential deploying in that? Take myself as an example. I started writing on blogger about 7 years ago. Where would be my growth if I stayed there till today? Would people take me seriously if I never invested myself in developing something “New” with the same thing I have always been doing all along? Let’s even take it a notch higher. What if I did something “New” in terms of applying my consistency in writing to podcasting? What if I started using the audio channel instead of getting stuck with the print channel? There is growth of potential when we do “New” things. Let us remind ourselves of what Roosevelt said:
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
Now, realize that I am not asking you to go out of the way and do something totally unrelated to your purpose and potential…well, if you are doing it for fun, then that is OK. I am talking about attempting to do something new not just once or twice, but on a consistent basis to such an extent that you are forming a new habit out of it. If for example I started a Podcast channel, it will be well within my vision of inspiring hope and enriching lives world-wide. I have absolutely no idea how many people it will impact. At the moment, that is still in the potential phase.
As you have noticed, it is possible to be comfortable in what you are doing even if you are a visionary. Daring to do the new occasionally is one of the things that will force you to exploit your potential. Here are some pointers on where you can get the “new” from.
If I take a look at my “rough drafts” there will be more than 10 manuscripts. For some reason though, I have “not found time” to sit down and bring them to life. I have no clue the potential that all these have. Going on to lean into them would create something “new” for me. The same applies to you. It is so easy to find out what you are procrastinating in your life. Probably you have excuses of lack of money, time or expertise. Going for it will force you to look deep in yourself and in the process unearth more of your potential.
At times you have caught yourself saying, “Someone need to do something about this”. Ever thought about the fact that that “someone” is you? A friend of mine always got bulldozed into whatsapp groups that he didn’t like. There was no etiquette and decorum in them. So one day he said, “Someone needs to come up with a “clean” whatsapp group” that will do this and that. After that epiphany, he created one. Two years down the line, it is one of the best social groups I have ever been part of. The same thing can happen with your potential. When something bothers you and you need it changed, it is potential reaching out to you to do something.
One day I borrowed a friend’s car and went for an event. Much as the care was just a functional car, I found myself saying out loud, “Lord, I could get used to this”. At that time, I was trudging along life using public transport. Well, the same thing happens in life occasionally when you “accidentally” do something that brings you joy. Perhaps someone asks you to be the moderator for a meeting or an event you are attending because the one supposed to do it was not able to make it. Then you do it and you are just blown away by yourself. Shouldn’t that be a hint for you to delve into this “new”?
It is important to be part of masterminds. When you are around other people who are exploiting your potential, something unique normally happens. There is always this encouragement of “You should….”. Because they know and care about you, they recommend something to you that you ought to do. For example, my brother recommended to me that I need to expand my audience to include children. Although I have never written for that audience, when I do, it will be exploiting my potential.
The gist of the matter is that you and I ought to attempt new things. Let’s not just be comfortable with what we have, who we are or what we are doing. Let’s learn to do the new.