How do we know if we ever reach our potential? Do each of us even know what our potential is? Do we care? And if we do know what it is, do we have any idea how to get there? I've heard people exclaim--usually when they believe someone is underachieving--"...but he [or she] has so much potential." Hmmmm. And they base that opinion on what? Assumed intelligence? Talent? Ambition? Age? Personality? Strength of character? What?
Someone once said that, "Nothing is more common than unfulfilled potential." That must mean that we all have it, we all just don't do much with it. Right? That's a fair statement, I suppose, but how do any of us determine let alone reach our potential? How can we figure out what incredible feat or personal strength we are capable of? How do we know when to push ourselves, when to reach for a higher rung, when to strive for a goal that seems at worst unreachable and at best just beyond our grasp? Then, if we do step out on that limb, how do we know when we haven't chosen the wrong path of potentiality or if we haven't barked up the wrong potential tree?
Do only the strong and the fittest reach their potentials? The driven, workaholics? Is it the innovative or the inquisitive that do it? Or is it the brightest and smartest that grab their potential and shake it in the face of the world?
I believe that every day we get up and seek new knowledge or enlightenment, when we are unsatisfied with the status quo in our lives, when we strive to perfect a new skill or gain a strength we did not know we possessed, when we question what appears to be life's limits or the bounds of our own goals or dreams, and when we encourage others to do the same...then we are striving for and realizing our potential. Sir Winston Churchill said that, "Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential." Continuous effort. Every day.