Potential is a word that is overused and misunderstood. Potential is used more times as an excuse that can severely deceive us.
The optimist sees potential in every situation. Potential becomes their friend. That more can come out of a situation than can be seen. Whatever is wrong is temporary. Potential is always hidden from others. The hope that potential brings to a person’s beliefs becomes the reserve battery of energy that makes many persevere.
The student who graduates, is also described as having potential. Their personality and extracurricular efforts demonstrate that they have the internal desire to do more and can do more. These traits should map towards more success as an adult thereby realizing their potential.
They have exceptional grades and demonstrated an ability to rapidly assimilate information. To put things together in very curious ways that make sense. This too is an indicator that they have potential.
There is a time element to potential. The student has their life ahead of them. Time will hopefully open this potential into very skilled and effective execution.
The optimist says that all they need is more time. That time is the key to changing their situation. They say this over and over throughout their lives. While potential is our hope, it remains our biggest deception.
Time alone can rarely change our circumstance. Our emotion and prayers for a good outcome rarely delivers on the promise. There has to be more. Something needs to change for our circumstance to change.
Our deception of potential always starts when we argue for more time to make things better. It’s true that each of us has the potential to do more. To work an extra hour. To exercise for 15 minutes more. To hug for 2 minutes instead of 2 seconds.
The true hope for potential lies in our ability to change, to begin to see the world differently. For nothing changes on the outside until we change from within. For this to happen, we must be open and willing to change.
One more step is needed. We must have a plan, a road map, of what we need to change. We must state clearly how things will become better by making changes.
Only then can we begin to see the potential (or lack of it) in any situation and be able to share our hope of potential with others. As changes are made, our potential will then slowly blossom into our new, hoped for, reality.