Potential is what is capable of being but it is not yet in existence. Potential is a function of purpose. Your potential is determined by your purpose. You cannot live to your full potential until you know what your purpose is. Locked away inside you is all the requirements/capacity to fulfil your purpose and become all that you can be. Let us explore a lay example to make this explanation come to life. Consider a car and an aeroplane. They are both a means of transportation just as we have seemingly similar individuals; however the car has been created to be able to move on the ground the whole time while the aeroplane though could move on ground for a while is meant to carry out most of its movement in the air. A car will never fly like an aeroplane no matter how much it tries because it has not been created to fly. The capacity/potential to fly is in the aeroplane because that was what it was created to do. How fast and how long an aeroplane can fly or a car can go is also a matter of its original design. Imagine the aeroplane choosing to move only on ground, how much of its capacity will be left unutilised.
If we are all created with a purpose and the potential to fulfil that purpose is already in us, why then do we not live to our full potential? Why then do we not become all that we are meant to be? Why then do we settle for less just like the aeroplane choosing to move on ground only and not attempt to fly even though it has the capacity to do so.
If we are all different and unique, I will assume that success for each person will also mean different things to different people. Knowing who we are, our purpose, values and what is important to us will go a long way in helping us achieve true success and happiness. A number of things can stand in the way of living to our full potential, living our lives on purpose and attaining success. Some of these will be discussed.
Not knowing your purpose
If you do not know what your purpose is, you will not have a good understanding of what you can possibly achieve and you will not operate in alignment with your true/authentic self. It is in doing this that we can find lasting peace, happiness and success. Knowing your purpose will help you to create a compelling vision which will be the motivation and driving force for you to keep moving towards your goals. How can you find your purpose? There are many tools available to help guide the purpose finding process. A Google search of “Life Purpose Finder” gave 2, 840 000 hits on different resources for finding purpose and passion. It might be worth trying a few and see what works for you. Another way you might go about this is by asking the creator of the purpose; in my case through seeking God and praying.
Impact of thoughts, beliefs and words
Our life as human beings is a product of what we think and say about ourselves. Words are very powerful and they control every sphere of life and existence. As the bible puts it, the power of life and death lies in the tongue, so choose life. To choose life is to take control of our thoughts and eventually our experiences. It is amazing to see how much negative words are spoken every second of our daily lives. Negative words or negative affirmations have a negative impact on people’s lives. You often hear words like “I am stupid, I can never do anything right, I cannot achieve anything good, I am ugly” and so much more. There are a lot of self-esteem issues in our society today, people getting discouraged and not live to their full potential just because of what they believe and say about themselves. If you think about something long enough, you will start believing it to be true and you start to say and do things in a way to justify that truth and it all becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just as the bible puts it, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7”. The analogy here was referring to a man who was acting in an evil way; which means that if you have evil thoughts, you will act in that way, conversely if you think happiness for example, you will be happy and so on. You will eventually become what you think; you cannot think one thing and become something else. Mahatma Gandhi beautifully illustrated this as “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.”