Unleashing Your Potential
Po ·ten· tial
(adj) capable of becoming real
(n) an ability that someone has that can be developed to help that person become successful
Potential is everything that you could be, but have yet to become. It is the goal that you’ve set that you have yet to accomplish. It is the idea you have in mind that you have yet to put into action. There’s not a single soul on this planet that does not have potential. We all have the innate ability to become more. Everyone from the prison to the palace possesses potential. Some of you have potential to be great husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, athletes, book authors, song writers, leaders, teachers, inventors, business owners, etc. Unfortunately, many will never come to know their full potential. I believe Dr. Myles Munroe said it best, “Though it may surprise you, the richest deposits on our planet lie just a few blocks away from your house. They rest in your local cemetery or graveyard.” Yes it is true the graveyards are filled with unreleased potential. Numerous people have been buried with their talents, gifts, and purposes. I count it robbery, because neither they nor their arena of influence were given the chance to experience the greatness that they were born to manifest.
This reminds me of the parable in the bible that speaks of the 3 servants who were each given a number of talents (money). The first two servants invested their talents which in turn yielded an increase. The other servant chose to bury his talent never receiving any increase. When their master returned he was very pleased with how the first two servants managed their talents. He became angry with the servant who chose to bury his talent instead of maximizing it. The end result was that the master took the 1 talent away from the servant who buried his talent and gave it to the servant who made the most return
That brings me to this, our talents, gifts, and purposes are not just for us. Gifts are for sharing! You cannot share something if you don’t have enough to share. Therefore maximize your potential. Many people shy away from their potential because 1) they do not understand it 2) they’re afraid of failing if they pursue it and 3) they have become complacent in their current way of life. Do you know how many people can benefit from the potential lying inside of you? What if Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne hadn’t found Apple in 1976? They pursued an idea that has forever changed the face of technology. What if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. never had a dream? The key isn’t just in having the dream. The dream represents potential. The key is in pursuing the dream. When you think about great people who have impacted the world simply by pursuing their passions and using their gifts, you have to wonder how different their lives would be had they not unleashed that potential. Furthermore, think about how different YOUR life would be had they not pursued their dreams, passions, or ideas.
You may have been told that you have lots of potential. Perhaps you even believe that you have potential, but you are unsure of exactly what that potential is. Well, first let me ask you a few questions. What are you most passionate about? What makes your heart smile and your spirit leap? What are your strengths? What annoys you the most? Oftentimes, the things that annoy you the most are the things you are called to fix or change. In what activities do you find the most fulfilment? Once you learn the answers to these questions you are well on your way to understanding and unleashing your potential. Do realize that your potential wasn’t meant to stay potential. Your gifts, talents, and purpose are meant to be shared with your arena of influence and beyond.
Now that you’ve identified your gifts, talents, and purpose you must take it a step further. In physics, we learned that potential energy is energy that is stored, while kinetic energy is energy that is set forth in motion. Kinetic energy can be transferred from one object to another. Potential energy just sits. So tell me, are your gifts potential or kinetic? Are your gifts ready to be set into motion? Can they be shared from one person to another? Or will your gifts begin and end with you? At this point you should be ready to write the vision and make it plain. Don’t let those God-given ideas just brew in your head. Release them and write them down. Then develop an action plan to get you closer to unleashing your potential. Without an action plan you only have a wish list. Now that you’ve developed your plan this is usually where fear and doubt creeps in. Fear and doubt comes because you now have to take the first step in order to see any of your potential goals and dreams manifest. Fear tells you that you will fail in pursuit of unleashing your potential. Doubt tells you that you’re in pursuit of the wrong thing and that you have no potential. This is the moment where you have to turn off the voices of fear and doubt and by faith and make the conscious decision to take the first step. What’s the worst that can happen? Besides we’re only on step 1, there may be several more steps to follow. However, sometimes that next step isn’t revealed until we take the first one.
Then there are many of you who may have already reached certain milestones in life and have achieved few or many accomplishments, BUT that’s not where the story ends. The story goes far beyond winning a football championship in college, or making the cover of a magazine, or getting that promotion on the job, or buying your first home, or marrying the man/woman of your dreams, or having a hit song on the radio. Believe it or not you have yet to tap into the great well of potential that rest inside of you. It’s a good thing to be thankful for your blessings and content with your current life. But do not become complacent with where you are in life. If you’re complacent then you’re saying that you’ve arrived and there’s no room for improvement. No matter how accomplished you may think that you are you should always strive for more in every area of your life. Strive to be better in your relationships, parenting, spiritual walk, and careers. Don’t just settle for clocking in to a 9 to 5 when you could own your own business. Don’t just settle for the white picket fence and a happy marriage when you can write a book that will help others find their own happiness. See your potential is LIMITLESS and it’s not just for you! Do not settle for “good enough” because you’re capable of having “more than enough” that will not only be a blessing to you, but to others as well.
Denver E. Kato