The world is full of intelligent people, full of potential, who have made no progress in life. Potential is not enough. The world is full of highly potential people who can’t navigate themselves out of a wet paper bag.
When you have enormous potential, everybody tells you how great you are and what great opportunities you have in your life. Your world looks so great, it gets you into the position where your potent is all you have. Those with great unused potential tend to blame the world for their situation.
“I can’t do that because this person or that situation stands in in my way.”
“My boss will not allow me to advance to a new position.”
“My wife tells me I can’t do this or that.”
“I want to pursue my dream career, but I can’t leave my job.”
I think about my wife. She has this big, big potential inside her as a baker and as a quilter. Quilting is a lost art. If you don’t understand what’s involved with quilting, I have to say that a level of patience and technical ability here to do good quilting is well off the charts, and highly underrated. There’s potential in her. There’s this thing that’s got to come out in a creative nature. She could easily say, “I don’t have the sewing equipment, the time, the effort, the technical ability, the creativeness.” Any of those would have made a great excuse for her not to go after quilting.
I remember my wife’s first quilts, she sewed for our children when they were young. The quilt style is called “I Spy” and they’re pieces of fabric with M & M’s, fire truck, ladybug and other cute stuff sewn together in a patchwork. When the kids were babies, my wife would lay the kids on the quilt and say, “I Spy a bug.” The kids would look around and point at the ladybug patch. It was a great game and wonderful to experience. The quilt is not big, maybe took 20 hours to make and the kids loved it.
Our kids are in their 20’s and still have their I Spy quilts today. I suspect that they’ll use their quilts again for their children. Now there is a legacy because my wife had potential that had to be expressed in action. The potential was there, but until she actually cut out the squares and learned how to stitch the quilt together, the potential would have never come out in her life.
Today, my wife is off doing her thing at a quilt show. I didn’t know there was such a thing. She loves going to different vendor booths and picking out colorful fabrics, talking to like-minded quilters about their techniques and creative process. She’s living her passion, the potential had to come out. She’s not out there making a living doing this stuff, because that’s not what’s important to her. What’s important to her is that she’s living her potential. It’s coming out in her.
There is potential in you waiting to come out. You’re reading this article because you’ve made it this far. You said, “Hey, there’s something that Robert’s talking about here in me. I want to fulfill my potential. It’s a desire.”
Everybody has a journey. Everybody has a potential that wants to come out. Elevate your self-worth by following your potential. Do something, anything. If you’re an artist, and you don’t feel like anybody’s going to like your stuff, it doesn’t matter. Go down to the store and get a pad, and a pencil, and start scribbling. Draw something, anything. It’s yours. It’s only yours, and only yours alone. If you decide to take your artwork to the next level and show somebody, that’s the next expansion of your potential.
Blame for Unmet Potential
The only way you will justify potential being unmet is to blame somebody else, or something else. More importantly, you may blame yourself, and lower your self-worth because you didn’t do anything around that potential. Don’t let that happen. It’s so important for you to take action. Potential is given to you by the creator, and it drives the world.
Every human being, all seven billion of us have potential in us. It was given to you and you know what it is. Don’t tell me you don’t know what it is, because you have a deep dark secret in your head somewhere, some place, some time, where you felt like, wow, that was kind of cool. I want to do that again. I ran that race and I felt alive. I want to do that again. I painted that painting. I came alive.
My point is this: live your potential. Once you do, and you start digging into it, it’s like a rope that gets tied around your chest, and it pulls you, and you love going with it. If you don’t go with it, it will drag you and beat you up until you recognize there’s something you need to do to live your potential. Whether you’re nine years old, or 90 years old, it doesn’t matter. The potential can come out, and it’s a fantastic manifestation.