Many people don't recognize, much less develop, their potential as a human being. It is so easy to get caught up in everyday living that some people seldom take the time and effort to think deeply about themselves, the meaning of their lives, and their potential capabilities. Recently, I heard a minister say that it seems we spend the first part of life working on success and the second part on substance.
I would like to see more people concentrate on the substance. A component of this is discovering potential. Every human is a unique, special creation. No two are alike. Even identical twins have differences. Within each individual is enormous potential and capability, though often this goes undiscovered, untapped. I firmly believe that we are meant to live life to the fullest, and that we have potential beyond what our human eyes can see or our minds believe. Stories are told, for example, about a person lifting up a car to rescue someone or doing some act of physical strength far beyond what they think are their physical limits. In essence, "what our minds believe and our hearts conceive, we CAN achieve!"
For many of us, discovering this potential and believing in it, is the first challenge. It takes some soul searching and effort. Some people try taking classes to learn new skills or reading about special interests. There are many paths to finding our unique gifts. Also, it is important to expand your vision of potential. It need not be limited to areas such as art, music, or intellectual ability. Making the most of "where you are" can be the best way to find and use your capabilities. The old saying, "Bloom where you are planted" is still valid. For example, I had an aunt who never lived beyond a 50 mile geographical radius, yet she utilized her cooking, sewing, and singing skills throughout her life to achieve her potential and add meaning and value to her life and the lives of others. Many people were recipients of her marvelous cooking. Even after arthritis debilitated her hands, she still found a way to cook meals for the "little ladies" of her church. She made custom dresses in her home for a children's clothing company and sewed for friends and family. She shared her rich, alto singing voice to bring happiness to others.
Everyone has something of significance to contribute and can therefore add purpose to his or her life. You may be a good listener, a rare attribute in today's world. Being a loyal friend or neighbor offers ways to develop potential. A great gardener, for instance, can share flowers or vegetables. A person who lives alone could benefit from a personal visit and friendship. The ability to make people laugh is a personal resource to be developed and shared. Of course, those with abilities such as writing, art, music, woodworking and cooking can find self worth as well as a way to serve and often make a living.
When we shift our paradigm to see that all of us have gifts, we can begin to tap into those that bring us feelings of achievement and worth. We can then use our gifts to bring joy and happiness to ourselves and others.
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