Your potential really has very little to do what you achieve. More important is how you perceive your potential.
In fact, it might be true how you perceive your potential determines your potential.
And for good or ill, how we perceive our own potential is often dependent upon the perception and psychological quirks of other people.
Maybe you were told as a young person that you have lots of potential.
Or maybe it was worded in a less complimentary, less encouraging way: “You’re not living up to your potential.”
Perhaps you were told something vdifferent from either of those ideas: “You’re worthless. You’ll never amount to anything.”
Chances are you didn’t choose the person (or people) who told you any of those things.
And chances are you did not consciously choose the people around you who currently comment (either explicitly or implicitly) on you potential today.
We are, as a rule, surrounded by people who hold expectations of us, based not on our true potential, but rather on their expectations of how we will express that potential.
The expectations others have of us say more about their own self-image than about the measure of our potential. They either have low expectations of us because that’s how they see themselves, or because of their fear of how we might force them to see themselves.
It’s useful to consciously choose peers who see you at a level of potential you desire to reach, instead of settling for peers who see you limited by their own dysfunction.
Remember: We rise to meet the lowest expectations of our peers.
Have you ever had a pebble in your shoe? From time to time I’ll be out hiking and a pebble flips up and lands in my boot. Of course, I could stay home and sit on the couch and avoid the possibility of getting a pebble in my boot, but then I’d miss out on so much enjoyment in life!
Instead, I choose to go out hiking and occasionally get a pebble in my boot. Sometimes, if I’m in a hurry, I try to ignore the pebble. And before I know it, this tiny particle of rock or twig is causing me to walk with a limp. This bothersome pebble is irritating, annoying and impairing my ability to walk and enjoy the beauty around me
If you’ve read some of my past blog posts, you probably know that I am a dog enthusiast. Over the years, my wife Lynn and I have enjoyed several canine companions. Scooter was one of our favorite dogs. But I remember him most for a rather unusual reason.
Toward the end of his life, our dog Scooter went blind. It happened over a period of several months. At first we weren’t sure what was wrong with him. He used to be so fiercely independent. He had always seen himself as alpha-dog–grouchy and self-centered. But now, the poor little guy would walk around bumping into things. This seemed to frustrate him, so he’d withdraw and go curl up in a corner. This just wasn’t like him. We became deeply concerned.
Most of us have never learned the most persuasive tool in the communications toolbox: listening.
For most people, “listening” really means something like: smiling and nodding while mentally preparing what we’re going to say.
But be prepared for what? The Scouting official website explains: “Scouting is a values-based program with its own code of conduct. For almost a century, Scouting has instilled in young men the values and knowledge that they will need to become leaders in their communities and country. ”
It goes on: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” But having a code of conduct isn’t just some “kids-in-a-club” thing…