“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.” -Brian Tracy
Within each and everyone of us lies what I refer to as a ‘potential for greatness,’ a special gift given to us by God intended to assist us on our journey through life. This gift can manifest itself in many different ways, as a particular talent, ability or aptitude. However this gift is not intended to be used selfishly and is not about acquiring power, status, fame or fortune for oneself, although any one or all of these conditions could certainly result from the realization of our God given potential. The sense of fulfillment we get from knowing that we have taken God’s gift, nurtured and developed it to the best of our ability and are using it for the benefit and betterment of all is quite satisfying.
Can you imagine a society where we have all honed our special talents and skills to there highest level and are graciously sharing them with one another not for monetary or personal gain, but simply for the sake of assisting one another in being the best that we can be. Now that would really be something. Of course in this dog eat dog world the chance of that happening is highly unlikely, but wouldn’t it be beautiful. Sadly not everyone is capable of attaining this positive, personal self development and living up to their potential.
Sometimes God’s gift goes unrecognized or is wasted. I offer my brother as an example, he was an extremely talented artist. His ability to draw was amazing, he could recreate just about anything in perfect detail. He was also a talented floral arranger. He could take an assortment of cut flowers and greens and arrange them into a thing of beauty. Unfortunately except for a few brief periods of his life he was unable to use his gifts for good purposes. Instead he learned that he could use his artistic gift illicitly, allowing him to get his hands on some quick easy money. Sadly he suffered from victim’s mentality and always blamed his lack of success on everyone other than himself. He always felt that people, especially family, only thought of themselves and ignored his needs when he was faced with yet another crisis. (that he probably created) He truly believed that the world owed him a living and spent most of his adult life searching for easy street, wasting precious time on foolish, get rich quick, plots and schemes which never panned out. He died an alcoholic at age 49, and never came close to reaching his potential for greatness. What a waste of God given talent. He just never learned, “You only get what you give.”
We probably all know at least one person like my brother with a special gift that goes unused. Why is it that some of us come to recognize our gift and learn to use it while others never do? Why can some of us stay the course of personal development, improve ourselves and go on to becoming better people because of it? What sets us apart? Obviously there is something else within us that holds some of us back and bars us from personal development and reaching our potential. Some of us seem to be caught in a cycle of making the same mistakes time and again, learning nothing from them making absolutely no progress, sort of like being stuck in a revolving door.
There are many obstacles that stand in the way of realizing our potential some can be dealt with and overcome such as procrastination, poor time management and/or organizational skills. These skills can be learned if we truly want to succeed in realizing our potential for greatness. Others are not so easily mastered and may remain a roadblock for years. Often we are our own worst enemy and sabotage ourselves along the way. We lack ambition, drive, or a burning desire to be the best that we can be. We aspire to nothing, telling ourselves we don’t care, and we are happy the way we are, but who are we trying to kid? Deep down we care so much it hurts.
Ego issues often play a major part in our failing, as does fear. Unresolved fear from past experiences and fear of the unknown can result in behaviors that are self-destructive in nature as we look for ways to cope and make due. This often leads to addictions that hamper our personal development. Alcohol, drugs illegal or prescribed, TV, internet, gambling, fantasy, gaming, pornography, sex, shopping, crime and other risky behaviors, the list is endless. All the while these distractions are keeping us sedated, pacified and far from our true nature, our potential, and causing us to leave our gifts unwrapped and undeveloped.
Seeking true personal development and growth is no easy task. Overcoming the obstacles and issues that hinder our personal development takes real courage and tons of effort, but the results will amaze you. Realizing your potential doesn’t happen over-night. It is a very time consuming process, more than you might imagine, but when all is said and done, aren’t we worth the time it takes, aren’t we worth the pain and energy involved? I know I am. I want to reach my greatness whatever it may be and share it with others. I want to be the best that I can be, all that God intended me to be. Don’t you?