BY: T. Franklin Murphy | July 2018 (edited December 30, 2021)
We need supportive environments to achieve our potential. As adults, we can create an environment that provides essential nutrients and protections.
The oak tree rises from a small, seemingly insignificant acorn. We, like the acorn, have potential, infused with the ingredients for greatness. Not every acorn fulfills its potential. The growth requires conditions outside of the genetic potential that support, encourage and nurture the seed. We also need healthy conditions to grow. As a child, we have little choice in choosing a supporting or neglecting environment. But as an adult, we have choice; if we know the possibilities—many don’t. We can surround ourselves with people, experiences, and education that promotes and actualizes potentials.
When we waste chunks of time thoughtlessly chasing amusements, distracted from boredom but providing no lasting benefits, we inhibit growth, like a seed in sterile soil. The world is full of distractions-exciting and stimulating. When we busy ourselves, neglecting skills and avoiding knowledge, we condemn ourselves to sameness.
"As a child, we have little choice in choosing a supporting or neglecting environment. But as an adult, we have choice; if we know the possibilities—"
We Can Change
Lifting ourselves above the trajectories of our pasts and current environments demands work—smart work. We can’t just act but must act with some degree of effectiveness. It doesn’t matter how fast we run, if we are running the wrong direction, we will never cross the finish line. We must identify where we want to go, acquire the knowledge to properly direct our actions, and then we must do.
Robert Elias Najemy wrote that "believing we can change allows us to focus on what we have the potential to become rather than remain lost in feelings of helplessness and hopelessness" (2001). The belief propels us towards potentials instead of imprisoning us by our past.
Books on Personal Potential
We routinely miss opportunities to create; lacking achievements, missing possibilities, and weakening relationships. Wake-up! Live a purposeful life, utilizing the precious gift of time to refine skills and actualize potentials, growing strong and tall as a mighty oak, rooted in rich soil, with plenty of water and sunshine.
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Najemy, R. E. (2001). The Psychology of Happiness 4th
Edition. Holistic Harmony Publishers