Reaching Beyond and Becoming More
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | May 2015 (edited 2020)
We, like the acorn, have great potential. We, unlike the acorn, can create environments that provide the nutrients and protection necessary for growth.
The majestic oak, towering above the ground, once as a small seed. The unrooted acorn contains great potential. In the right environment, the outer shell splits and life emerges. The roots sprout, pushing deep into the soil and soon a tender shoot breaks through the ground. Sun and rain, along with nutrients in the soil nourish the young seedling as it grows strong and tall.
Environments and Potential
Many acorns, the potential oak trees, will not survive—never achieving full maturation. Some acorns fall on stony ground and never take root; others dry by the powerful rays of sun, others carried off as food, and some perish from disease. Like the acorn battling for life, we also are susceptible to harsh environments. Our young lives are fraught with experiences that hamper or encourage development.
Empowered to Achieve Potential
Unlike the dependent acorn, we are empowered; we are involved in the development or decay, capable of reaching potentials beyond the dictates of our environment. We can choose our environment, changing givens and adopting new norms. We make choices that increase or decrease the likelihood of achieving great potential. Knowledge, skill and loving support guide us in this endeavor human endeavor.
How Do We Achieve Our Potential?
Growth toward potential requires courage, venturing into the darkness that lies between where we are and the light of where we want to be. Often, the darkness we must transverse is within. Our faulty thoughts, weakened self-discipline or destructive habits create ominous barriers, foreboding the weary traveler from venturing further. We must extinguish limiting thoughts that previously provided protection for growth to continue. While defensive thoughts make life more palatable, soothing emotions, the thoughts inhibit growth, interfering with relationships and careers.
"Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it's almost always due to personal growth." ~John C. Maxwell
What is Human Potential ?
Human potential is not material accumulation. A new car and a big house is enticing but blind materialism reveals a poverty of ambition. Life should be rich with meaning beyond possessions and titles. We can achieve much more. Our potential is richly displayed through character and relationships. As we grow in kindness, compassion and integrity, our self-confidence waxes strong. With new growth, a sense of purpose evolves, becoming the branches and leaves of creative expression.
Come, join with me in this fabulous adventure of growth, reaching beyond our environments, breaking free of the confining shells, and reaching for the vast blue skies of great potential. Let us be the majestic trees the decorate the landscape, provide shade for the weary, and plant new seeds for future generations.
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