Potential: Possible Not Promised

Have you ever looked at someone who was talented and said, “Man, they got a lot of potential?” Or have you seen someone later in life who you grew up with and said, “They had a lot of potential. It’s sad to see it go to waste?” We all have said this. Truth be told, we all have the potential to be good at something. Everyone has a talent or skill that could possibly take them places that they have only dreamed of. You can have all the potential in the world, but it means absolutely nothing if you do not do anything with it. We are evaluated often on our potential, the possibility that what we have to offer will provide value to an individual, a company, or an organization. Employers evaluate the potential of candidates by reading their resumes and going through the interview process. They hire the individual who will possibly be the best fit for the organization. Sometimes they get it right and end up hiring a phenomenal person for the job. Sometimes they get it wrong and have to go through the process all over again. You may not realize it, but we do the same thing. When you go on a date with someone, you are essentially evaluating the potential that this person has to become a good spouse. There is no guarantee that it is going to work out in the long run. You go through the dating process and eventually determine if that person is possibly the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Even then, it is not promised that it will. There is always risk involved. The question is how do you take potential from being something that is possible to more of a promise. 

You must develop your potential. What does that mean? Work on your craft so that there is a better possibility that it will lead to success. Imagine that you want to become an artist. You draw a few pictures in your spare time and there is the potential that you can become really good at what you do. If you never draw another picture, that potential is wasted. But imagine if you studied your craft. What if you continued to learn different styles and variations? What if you learned not only how to draw on paper, but also electronically as well? To become even better at your craft, you choose to go to school and obtain a degree in graphic designing. You have now become much better at your craft and the possibility of you succeeding has increased greatly. Which version of you now has a better chance at the promise of becoming successful as a really good artist? The potential would have been wasted if you’d chosen not to develop that skill set. Figure out what you need to do to become better and that will help you maximize your potential.

Despite what you may have heard before, there are a few guarantees in life. One of them being that having the potential to do something means absolutely nothing until you develop it and do something with it. I don’t just apply this principle to my talents or my job. I apply it to my life in general. I just don’t want to have the potential to become a good husband and a good dad. I’m finding ways to do it even while already being in the midst of both. Apply this same principle to your relationships as well and watch what happens. Learn, grow, and continue to find ways to become better. Reduce the risk and increase the possibility that your potential in every area will be reached. Imagine how it will be to one day be able to look back on your life and see that you not only had the potential to do great things, but you actually put in the work and did it. Wow! That’s all the motivation you need. Now let’s go and do what it takes to become great.