The final entry in the Becoming a Superior Man series is about potential. It is something you hear about, and usually in a negative sense, ie “that’s a shame, he had such potential,” or “He can do so much better than this, he has so much potential.” I want everyone to stop and consider what would 16 year old you say if he met the current you? Would past you be proud of who he will become? What excuses would you give for current you’s behavior? If your answers to those questions are disappointing, there is good news. You are now your younger self. Make your future self proud!
What IS potential?
Five important keywords:
There are no guarantees with potential and as stated earlier one of the most disappointing trainwrecks is to witness is someone with the ability who does nothing to develop it. So all that potential means you have something there to begin with but you have to feed it. To nurture it. That’s how you actualize your potential. You must have the CAPACITY, QUALITIES or ABILITIES and then DEVELOP them for FUTURE gain. This means that no matter your potential, effort must be exerted in order to develop the qualities in the future.
Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.
Potential + Effort = Results
The other side of the potential coin is effort.
Potential is an inverse measure of how much effort will be required to get that payoff. The more you have, the less effort is required and vice versa. Often while conducting training I have a huge mix of abilities of people attending my classes. Some people just pick up things quicker and have to put in less effort to get to the final goal. Is that fair? No. Is life fair? Uh, no. Fairness isn’t the desired outcome though. Often our greatest accomplishments come as a result of the greatest efforts. Think back to moments in your life where you are the most proud. I suspect many of those are moments where you realized you had some potential, and put in much effort to get to your goal.
We have been overrun by our animal desire
Addicts of the immediate keep us obedient and unaware
The future can never come soon enough, or it can seem like that if we are plugging away with something we dislike. A superior man must, like like our grandparents and their grandparents, defer the lesser instant gratification for the greater gain further down the road. Many generations ago men planned ahead and made decisions not just to their lifetimes, but to the lifetimes of their children and grandchildren. Men today have lost that, instead seeking what is now, what is immediate, irregardless of future cost. There are countless examples, does it really matter if you skip your workout today and go out drinking instead? What about charging up your credit card to purchase the newest smartphone? In a vacuum either of those examples probably won’t have a huge impact on your life. The problem is that human nature allows us to go off the deep end rather quickly. Think of the alcoholic who has abstained completely from drinking for several years. Can he go and have one beer? Or if he breaks the dam by having a sip will he more likely go on a drinking binge?
If we are able to keep moving forward and pick up when we stumble, we can achieve a big payoff and fulfill our destiny. No matter where your potential is, you can make it up with effort. Part of being a Superior man is realizing what your strengths and weakness are and exploiting them for your own gain. If you have a lot of potential in an area, USE IT!! Develop that skill or ability and leverage it for continued success.
Don’t stagnate, ever keep moving forward.
Unlock YOUR Potential!