Sunday, August 23, 2009

Curious about Potential: We All Have Plenty. So Why Are We Not Using Our Full Potential?

Definition of Potential: Being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result; efficacious; influential. Existing in possibility, not in actuality. Anything that may be possible; a possibility; potentially.

We can reach our potential, but to do so, we must reach within ourselves. We must summon the strength, the will, and the faith to move forward - to be bold - to invest in our future.” - John Hoeven, American politician

If we’ve heard it once, we have heard it over and over again. Few of us ever use our whole – or even a good amount of our potential. I started thinking about this yesterday while and after watching a terrific video starring my favorite inspirational mentor, Tony Robbins, and two of the best Internet marketers – Frank Kern and John Reese.

Kern and Reese were asking Tony why it is that so many purchasers of programs and/or attendees to pricey seminars never get started using the material. Robbins explained it this way with four boxes – two on top and two below. The first in the upper left was our potential. We all have lots. The second box in the upper right has the actions we take – usually weak because of fears of failure and making fools of ourselves. On the bottom right is the results box. These are weak because of the lack of strong actions. This box points to the bottom left box which holds our beliefs.

And, of course, the weak results just enforce the belief that we can’t succeed, leading back up to our potential. Now, we question our potential. And the vicious cycle has begun even though we all have the potential we need. As Robbins points out, we must realize and believe that it takes guts to succeed. Plus, we must have the certainty that we can and will do what it takes. We do have the requisite potential.

As you can imagine, there were many, many quotations about potential. Let’s share a few:
  • Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” -Leo Buscaglia, American author
  • Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential for greatness.” - Bo Bennett, American businessman
  • I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.” - Og Mandino, American writer
  • If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings.'” - Dave Barry, American journalist
  • “In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential... it's no different in the financial realm.” - Suze Orman, American author
  • Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.” - Winston Churchill, English statesman

And a couple more to consider:

The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn't think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.” - Steve Ballmer, American businessman

We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.” - Barack Obama, American President

So, will you start using more of your potential? I know that I will!