“You have the capacity to be great!”
I’m sure we’ve heard this quote in one form, or another. Probably when we’re down in the dumps and on Pinterest looking for a hard-hitting quote to pick us back up. Sayings like “You can do it,” or “Just believe in yourself,” or some other combination of words meant to elicit daylight out of your tail. Personally, whenever I find myself supremely devoid of drive, my first instinct is to stare into space. Blank out, then feel overwhelmed, and slowly walk myself down a metaphorical tunnel, until Ms. Motivation decides to pay me a visit. Until then, I’m pretty much helpless and unable to function. Because that’s how it works, right? Until we’re motivated, we can’t do it at all, right?
For all our feeding our brains the belief that “We can do it!”, there’s always something missing. And that something has to do with the difference between potentiality and actuality. Meaning, there’s a difference between thinking about doing it, feeling like doing it, and, well, actually doing it.
We have the potential. That’s a given. But will we let different factors—feelings, motivation, drive, problems, anxieties, worries—keep us from making something out of that potential?
After all, capacity is just that: capacity. And something with the capacity to become great doesn’t make it automatically great. A piano is nothing more than pieces of wood and strings taking up an arguable amount of space. Until you actually sit at the piano and play it. An arrow won’t hit its target if you don’t pick it up, pull it back, and release it.
And if these inanimate objects were made with a purpose and potential in mind, what more you and I, the way we’re fearfully and wonderfully made?
Potentiality and actuality.
You, the way you are, right now, have the power to decide how you will be and what you will do tomorrow, and the day after that. Apart from your situations, apart from your feelings or you fears. Apart from everything else happening around you. Only you can decide what you do, and who you are, every day.
You have the power to make your potential into something actual.
So… act! Embrace your capacity to be great. To be the kind of person that you know in your heart you were made to become. But more than that, be great. Be great by choosing to do. The question isn’t about our capacity, or ability, or potential anymore.
The question is this:
What will you do about your potential today?