We hear the phrase all the time: “Reach your full potential.” Potential is an interesting thing. None of us really know what our full potential is. In fact, it’s probably impossible to know your full potential from where you stand today. Potential is always unclear when you’re looking forward. But potential is crystal clear when you look backward. It’s easy to point out the gaps where our potential was wasted, sabotaged, or ignored. That’s usually where we experience the most regret. Pulitzer prize winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti captured it best when he said:
Hell begins on that day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts we wasted, of all that we might have done that we did not do.
So that raises a question: If it’s impossible to fully know your potential looking forward, how do you avoid the hell of wasted potential when looking backward? I believe it really boils down to one essential practice: Personal Growth. It’s your unwavering commitment to lifelong learning and personal growth that helps you catch glimpses of your potential. What you once thought was impossible seems possible when you continually grow. It’s your daily growth that reveals your daily potential. It’s your disciplined growth that exposes your mind to new paradigms, best practices, and opportunities to maximize who God created you to be.
So while you may not know your full potential, I believe your potential becomes clearer each day when you choose to grow. Personal growth is the ingredient that closes the gap between the current you and the you of the future.
Questions: What new aspect of your potential have you reached in the last 12 months as a result of your commitment to personal growth? Who do you want to be in the next 12 months? How must you grow to close that gap?