“I haven’t reached my potential yet. I am trying, but I am not there yet.” This is the same conversation I have with at least one student a week in some capacity.
My answer is always the same: We never actually get there.
Potential is the horizon that you’re traveling towards. It’s the mirage, a magical oasis of water that looks real enough to dip our thirty cups into.
Horizons are there to steady us on our journeys. The closer you move towards it, the further away it seems. It never gets any closer. And thank goodness for that because the world is not flat (don’t believe the conspiracy theorists preaching crap like the earth is flat or that the sky is falling), it’s round, and we wouldn’t want to suddenly be at the edge of a cliff, with nowhere else to go… Which is likely what it would feel like if we actually did reach our so-called potential.
Seeing your potential is seeing the horizon, admiring its beauty, realizing that you will never actually get there, and embracing the learning you make incrementally on the journey. Sometimes you will be biking feeling the wind in your hair, sometimes you’ll be strolling stopping to admire the marvel of an ant crawling on the pavement. And sometimes you will be trudging through a blizzard with sore feet and blisters and it will feel like the longest, most arduous journey you’ve even attempted. The speed does not matter. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Potential is not stagnating in the same place. It’s not treading water. Realizing potential is accepting that it moves forward with you.
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