“Fortunate is the person who has developed the self-control to steer a straight course towards his objectives in life, without being swayed from his purpose by either commendation or condemnation.” – Napoleon Hill
- Believing there’s more within you that you can access and utilize is self-motivating.
- Without believing in the possibilities, your expectations for success will be of lower probability.
A Merriam-Webster dictionary entry on Potential says, “Something that can develop or become actual,
- Existing in possibility: capable of development into actuality potential benefits
- Expressing possibility specifically: of, relating to, or constituting a verb phrase expressing possibility.”
“Potential, from the Latin potentia “power,” sounds more complicated than it is. It describes Something or someone that has the power to become Something. Potential success is not yet a success but could be if the circumstances are right…” (2)
Note this definition implies “possibility” and “actuality,” this can only have a high probability of becoming a reality if it is acted upon. The action I’m speaking of is following a well thought out long-term action plan.
Anyone who desires self-improvement understands the necessity of stepping outside their comfort zones to explore the more significant Potential that resides within them.
Dr. Myles Munroe comments on Potential, “You must decide if you are going to rob the world or bless it with the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you.”
John C. Maxwell writes, “I don’t know any successful person who thinks growth comes quickly and climbing to the top is easy. It just doesn’t happen. People create their own luck. How? Here’s the formula:
Preparation (growth) + Attitude + Opportunity + Action (doing something about it ) = Luck
It all starts with preparation. Unfortunately, that takes time. But here’s the best news. As John Rohn said, “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” If you want to reach your goals and fulfill your Potential, become intentional about personal growth. It will change your life.”(3)
As to Maxwell’s statement, I must admit that those taking full responsibility for their personal development appear to be among the “luckiest people” I know.
Harvard Psychologist Jerome Bruner comments, “You’re more likely to act yourself into feeling than feel yourself into action.”
The Process of R.A.M.
Developing potential is never easy and always costly. Many people entertain personal development until they see the price tag. Jimmy Johnson said, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
The process of R.A.M. (as I call it) appears in most personal development programs in one form or another. I encourage you to pay the toll to travel the extra mile; there’s less traffic, it moves faster, and you’ll enjoy the ride.
By regulating ourselves, I’m referring to maintaining control over our emotions while doing the necessary things that can sometimes make us uncomfortable, Like
- Grappling with feelings that want us to avoid addressing unproductive habits
- Uncovering the negative emotions that drive those feelings
- The trial and error of developing new productive habits
In any thorough research of personal development, you will most likely come across Abraham Maslow’s 7 Tiered processes of self-actualization. (Physiological Needs, Safety Needs, Love and Belonging, Esteem Needs, Cognitive Needs, Aesthetic Needs, and Self-actualization).
By actualization, I’m referring to the level of self-awareness that enables us to accept ourselves as we are, realize the limits to our current level of competencies, and sense the untapped potential within us. Knowing who we are and where we stand enables us to take on the challenges of further personal development confidently.
Motivation speaks to the intensity of our determination to achieve our objectives. Within the context of this article, I’m referring to our intentionally directed efforts toward reaching new levels of personal development.
In Closing, discovering, and developing our Potential is not a destination but a lifestyle.
Author J.D. Meier advises, “Dream big, develop yourself, unleash your potential, play well with others, play to your strengths, enjoy the process, share your unique gifts with the world, and grow your greatness by testing yourself, expanding yourself, learning and improving.”
(3) From The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, “The Law of Intentionality” by John C. Maxwell