I don’t know about you, but I enjoy constantly challenging myself, overcoming difficulties, learning new things, new skills, and gaining new knowledge. I enjoy moving forward in life and “stretching” my potential. I believe I can do so much more and be so much more than I am today, because of the hidden untapped potential within. According to Wikipedia, “potential” usually refers to a currently unrealized ability; potential is like a hidden “treasure” within yet to be discovered. So, how do you discover your potential?
When I was a child, I was involved in a variety of sports, but running became my favorite; though I was good at other sports, I knew I had huge potential as a runner, and I developed that skill through the years. At school, I wasn’t good at math, but I loved humanitarian subjects, I loved reading books, writing diaries, and I continued to develop my potential in the field of reading and writing.
Eventually, I became a journalist, and now I’m also on a journey of writing my first book. I believe some of our potential is inherited genetically; my maternal grandfather was a self-taught visual artist and talent for art runs deep in our family roots. Interestingly, my daughter excels at both: sports and art. As a teacher, my mother has always been good at public speaking, and I happen to be very confident speaking in front of an audience as well.
We all have a tremendous amount of potential within to do something unique and be someone unique. Potential is like that “path within” that will lead you to self-actualization in life that we all long for. Our deep need is to realize our potential. Research says that we don’t use more than 10% of our human potential capacity, so the potential we carry inside has no limits, unless we allow our own thoughts or the thoughts of others to limit our abilities.
Did you know, Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in 78 years produced around 13,500 paintings or designs; 100,000 engravings or prints; 34,000 book illustrations and 300 sculptures! Thomas Edison patented 1100 inventions! Doesn’t it make you think how tremendous the power of our human potential is?! One of the greatest Olympians, Michael Phelps, once trained for five years without a break – three hundred and sixty five days a year, for at least four or five hours a day in the pool. When someone asked him why would anyone do that, he replied, “Because I wanted to be the best there had ever been, and that’s what it takes.” It takes strong will and determination to discover and fulfill your potential.
Surprisingly, it is never too late to realize your potential. Margaret Hagerty holds a Guinness record for the oldest woman to run marathons on seven continents. She quit smoking and started running at age 64, and now the 90-year-old has done 80 marathons as well as many other races.
Margaret says, “You do not know what is possible until you try the impossible and make a hard fought effort to succeed. You will be amazed at what you can achieve.”
Often, we limit ourselves by our own beliefs or by the beliefs others have about us; or we limit ourselves by the belief system of the society we’re in; or we limit ourselves by the adversities we face in life. Despite all these, your potential is intact; it belongs to you and for you to use it for your own good and for the good of others. You’re so much more than you can think of or imagine.
What do you do to challenge your potential? What do you want to excel at?