How Do We Find Our Individual Potential?

How do we find our individual potential? 

As many of you know, the primary purpose of our Learning Without Scars business is to help people find their personal potential. That confuses a lot of people. Most of us don’t have any idea of our potential. Early on in civilization it was quite basic and very simple – to have the strength to be able to find and get food. We were hunters and gatherers. If we couldn’t find food, we died. Simple, right?

Today it is much more complicated. Governments are determined not to have people die from lack of food. We have many social programs to ensure that people will have access to the basic requirements of life. Even in these advanced times, we have many who choose to stay off the grid for one reason or another.

In the United States in 2020, about 18% of the population was under 15 years old; 65% from 15 years old to 64 years old; and 17% over 65 years old. I believe that understanding our potential changes with our age. It varies as we get older. One of the definitions of potential causes me some difficulty. It is the “possibility of becoming something more.” Isn’t that always the case? Aren’t we constantly learning things? Another definition is “coming to self-realization that there is more to our lives.” This definition gets rather personal for me. One day, while my father was still alive, we were having a glass of “brown water” and solving the problems of the world, he paused and looked at me and said “I don’t understand you. You are never satisfied.” I responded quickly with the blithe comment “well there is always more, isn’t there?”

And that becomes the challenge of potential. There is always something more.

One of my grandchildren is in High School and we were talking about what he wanted to do with his life. He said, “I don’t know.” It is a terrific answer for someone in High School today. There are so many choices available to us. There are the sciences and the fantastic developments being made within them. The arts and the various media – sculpture and painting – as well various methods to express ourselves visually. Music and literature and drama. Fashion and Makeup. I might add that many of the early school years tend to “stifle” creativity not “encourage” it. How do you start in finding this something “more?”

Well, how about starting with those things that do not turn you on? These are the things that you don’t like to do. In 1998 Sir Ken Robinson led a commission created by the government in the UK – “Commission on creativity, education and the economy.” It turns out he was highly critical of the education system under which he was taught. He regretted the fact that neither the primary school, secondary school nor college enabled people to develop their talents and discover what they really wanted to devote themselves to in their lives. Doesn’t that condition still exist where you live? Where you went to school, or your children and grandchildren are going to school? Where are we supposed to find this magic “thing” to which we want to devote our lives?          

This is a difficult undertaking, isn’t it? This pursuit of our potential. How about we look at the other side of the question. What don’t we want to do? What aren’t we very good at in our lives? Sometimes that is easier to identify.

  1. What was something you disliked studying?
  2. What were some jobs you hated?
  3. What are some of the household chores you really don’t like doing?

Isn’t there anything common in the items above? 

  1. Are they some activities you do alone or without somebody else?
  2. Does someone tell you to do these tasks or does it depend only on you?
  3. Do the activities need something physical or intellectual?

Now let’s make another list.

Write down everything you like or liked to do in the areas below: 

  1. School or Education
  2. Jobs
  3. Everyday tasks

Now find the common denominator in these items.

Have you stopped any of these activities you enjoyed? 

  1. Why?
  2. Can you recover it and start it again?

Now let’s rank the things you liked to do.

  1. What is in first place?
  2. Can you make it more prominent in your life?

Some things should now be standing out. Things should be clearer.

Now comes a big question. I think it will have become clearer to you. You know better now some of the things you want to do. So, let’s ask that magic question? What have you always wanted to do but were afraid to start doing it? Do you think it is time to start doing it? That is the beginning of your potential. The possibility of becoming something more. Are you ready to get started?

The Time is Now.

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