“Don’t cheat the world of your contribution. Give it what you got.” Steven Pressfield.
Use what you Got
Have you ever done something you thought or believed you couldn’t do? Maybe you went back to school after years of being out and got a degree or certification. It could have been a task that seemed beyond your reach, and yet you were able to accomplish it. Maybe it was a job that you applied for even though you thought it was beyond you, but you got the job and performed it well. Or, you had a physical fitness goal that seemed impossible to reach, but it happened. It seemed beyond your capacity, and yet you were able to get it done. What happened to your confidence and mental condition?
In hindsight, we can all look back and see how we would have remained stuck if we chose to nail our lives to our excuses and buy into the laundry list of reasons why we can’t take action.
I believe the potential placed in us is drawn to what is possible. This is why goal accomplishment is one of the central components of a successful life. Also, think about all that has come through the pipelines of invention and innovation. The phone in your hand is a perfect example of this. The banking and retail industries have undergone drastic changes because of innovation. Now you can shop from the convenience of your home and deposit a check without going to the bank. And currently, there is a growing interest in shortening human travel around the world through the introduction of space flight.
Through action, we use what we have to bring about something that previously did not exist. Best-selling author James Clear asked this thought-provoking question, “What action can you take today that will contribute to something you’ll be proud of ten years from now?”
Potential exists in the abstract form of an idea, a picture, or a puzzle in our imagination. But when action is applied, the outcome is productivity and progress, which I believe are two things we all want to see in our lives. Zig Ziglar was fond of saying, “It’s not what you have but what you use that makes a difference.” I couldn’t agree more.
If you are alive, you have potential. But what keeps our potential, although potent, in a dormant state? What you believe is a keystone in turning potential into action.
Belief systems are at the core of humanity. Our belief systems are expressed in our thoughts, words, and actions. We all need something to believe in, whether we know it or not. We thrive and flourish where positive belief systems are present. And when a person strongly believes in something, they will give all they have toward that cause. I believe in the value of family. This is why I make sure I don’t give my best elsewhere and give my family my leftovers in terms of time, energy, and attention.
Active or Stagnant
What you believe will push you to activate your potential or keep it stagnant. Your past is a major culprit in keeping your potential stagnant. We tend to reference what was done to determine what is possible. Progress will always be beyond our reach when our thinking is only molded by our past. How can we prevent this from happening and break out of the rut of our history? It is by seizing the moments in the present that challenge our capacity to think and act in new ways. This pushes us to a brighter future.
Our sacred cows are characterized by the “this is just the way I am” or “this is the way we have always done it” response we give when we are challenged to be or do better. These fixed negative habits and attitudes may very well be the ones keeping our potential locked up. Most people have become the wardens of their imprisoned potential. We think that by letting go of our fixed habits, we are losing a part of ourselves. But in truth, it is only by letting go that we can truly become who we were always meant to be. What are you holding onto that is keeping your potential in a dormant state?
And lastly is a quitting spirit. Thomas Edison, the great inventor, said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” We must develop an attitude of stick-to-itiveness through consistency and discipline if our potential is to be actualized.
If you believe that you have God-given potential, then boldly ride on this wave of thought, “Yes, I can realize my potential by putting it to action every day.” Confidence will begin to rise as you align your words and actions to what you believe. And as Pastor and author Craig Groeschel says, “Boldness is behavior born out of belief.”
Final thought: The unique potential within each of us carries the purpose of making an impact and difference to the people in our sphere of influence and the world at large. With this outlook, we will put our potential into action, make ripples, and live out this observation by Thomas Edison, “If we all did the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Keep on Keeping on!