The problem with potential

“He has so much potential.” This is a statement we feel good and bad about. On the one hand, it’s great to be acknowledged for what we/could/be. On the other, it’s frustrating to be reinforced in the belief that we’re not/there/yet.

With humans, potential is never actual. It’s about possibility. Once it happens it’s no longer our potential. It’s something we did or became. Our potential then takes a step away from us. It’s like a horizon of human achievement, as vivid as our imagination can picture it. For some, that horizon seems very beautiful and worth pursing. For others, at least in their own heads, not so much.

In Physics, Potential Energy is the energy an object possesses because of its position. Kinetic Energy is the energy an object possesses because of its motion.

For people, Kinetic Energy is the important factor for getting anywhere in life, much more than potential. This is because when we try to figure out our potential, we’re not dealing with pure maths. We’re dealing with the flexibility and unpredictability of human nature and expression. It’s not set in stone that your potential will come to pass unless there’s motion towards it and chances are once you get going that motion will take you somewhere very different to where you thought you were heading in the first place.

Many a person, looks back on their life in a slight sadness and says, “If only I reached my full potential.” However, our imaginations can’t be completely trusted and that statement has a great deal of imagination behind it. We can both over and under-estimate our potential. But no one can argue with the trail you’ll leave with long-term movement.

Your potential is vast and virtually limitless for sure, and on its own won’t achieve anything.

Forget thinking about your potential and start moving.