3 questions on potential
What do you feel is your true or innermost potential?
What does potential mean to you? Has it changed during your life?
How do you cultivate and nurture your potential?
It is so much easier to recognize potential in other people, as we see them without the filters of our ego. In the West, we recognize human growth and development from a scientific, left-brained perspective. We map and standardize humans from birth to ‘normal’ adulthood. We design schools to develop human potential in every domain and knowledge. The more domains we embrace, the better rounded we are considered to be.
What about the soul? Traditionally it has been the domain of religion, but unfortunately the religious systems have become too structured, keeping the spiritual aspect from people. Over the past century, a new movement of Transpersonal Psychology started. It was not limited to the ‘normal’ but also included the exceptional and optimal. Those who could reach their own potential would share with their direct circle. Those who wanted more ‘hands on’ theology shared with their community and served the needy.
Reaching our potential is like harvesting rainwater to quench our thirst and the thirst of the ones around us, while carrying their weight and responsibility. Knowing that there are others out there, who can join our efforts in creating a network of availability and love, is like tapping directly into the Source. This kind of networking also relieves worries.
Potential is the knowledge of the Self. Over time, the knowledge of our potential generates bliss – our activities generate within us a feeling of good, a feeling of delivery, a happiness that makes us reach out to the Self again and again. It can be the act of painting, dancing, reading, running, or anything. It’s the discovery of our talents. But without the right attitude, potential has no framework.
The feeling that I could perform certain things initiated a journey in my childhood itself. My mother taught me to draft a picture of a house with a beautiful garden and this launched me into the creative orbit. And from seeking to be an artist my journey set me on an allied trajectory of becoming an art writer, a curator and a creator of the plastic arts. Looking back, my potential didn’t change much, but it certainly seemed to expand. The constant pursuit of using my ability to paint and draw created my future path. It was my mother again who encouraged me to complete my MA in Literature, and this expression directed me to write, curate and open up the complicated world of contemporary arts to my audience.
I am still exploring my innermost potential to see the cosmos in this earthly existence; the reason we are here in the first place; the feeling of aligning with all that is noble and spiritual; and the ability to connect with the largeness of the potential within me and around me. The day I can expand myself to see no distinctions – maybe that will be a new enlightenment, that would redirect me to my potential in all aspects of life.
Potential is hidden inside. It needs to be awakened. It can be a quality, a behavioral trait or a mere presence that makes a sea of change.
Potential is what is POSSIBLE. It is the understanding of our strengths and weaknesses, so that together we can do what is otherwise impossible.
We come across OPPORTUNITIES. Potential helps us choose the right ones; in fact, the doors of opportunity open by themselves.
Understand the right TIME to act – never too early, never too late. When the right time approaches we can actively participate rather than just wait and watch.
Utilize ENERGY to the fullest. We are filled with infinite energy, and channeling energy is an important outcome of knowing our true potential.
Be in the NOW, so that we know ourselves. Then, we know and understand others, and make a difference in their lives.
TRY till we succeed. We become content, which in turn helps us to find happiness.
INSPIRE each other. Diversity in unity, and unity in action towards a common goal leads to success.
ABILITY is the wisdom to act. Our ability grows with experience, age and maturity and provides us with the insight to differentiate, choose and inspire.
LOVE is the uniting factor in this universe; anything can be conquered by love, helping us find our true potential.
Potential is something ever changing and evolving. Life is about uncovering that potential which is mostly hidden latent inside us, and who knows how deep that can go. I think in general people greatly underestimate their own capacities.
I think sometimes difficulties can be great in bringing out our hidden potential. When life goes well we might get too busy proving there’s no need for change. But situations that force us to give up both the positive and negative concepts we have of ourselves are opportunities for our true potential to emerge.
Another thing for nurturing potential is of course a supportive environment.
In the winter days when all are resting, nature is hard at work. Somewhere in the forest an acorn is struggling to become an oak tree.
Starting out as a flower, slowly growing into an acorn, the tree’s fruit, she is happy to live forever peacefully with her sisters and brothers under the care of their mother. But things never stay the same.
Soon enough the weather starts to change, turning summer into autumn and then the cold winter. The acorn keeps holding onto her branch, but then notices that all her sisters and brothers are gone. In a moment of surrender, she also lets go of her branch, preparing for her end. But to her surprise the fall does not kill her. Instead, she has a feeling of freedom, while her shell begins to crack open. The acorn falls asleep under the fallen leaves for the whole winter.
When spring comes she wakes, feeling the rain and warm soil that has covered her. In a moment of infinite possibilities she witnesses only the possibility of succeeding, while in her heart singing, “Let there be light!”
Sprouting into a bud, she continues to stretch her arms until, one day, the sound of squirrels catches her attention. When she looks around she is no longer a tiny acorn but a fully-grown oak tree with her own emerald coat. With joy she becomes aware of every little acorn she now carries in her arms, wondering what will happen to them – whether they will have the courage to surrender to their full potential.
To reach our potential, our fullest potential, our highest potential, we do not need to gain anything…. we need to unfold everything.
August 02, 2019
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June 30, 2019