Principle 4: Possibilities

  • Could you fulfill a secret dream if you had more money?
  • Would you take on a new project that could significantly change your life if you had more time?
  • What more would you attempt to do if you could tap into more energy?
Each of us has a limited amount of these resources (money, time, and energy) that provide the opportunities for improving our lives. But, we all have some.
Some of us have extra time. Look at the time spent on TV or the Internet, even watching spectator sports. Often times, “not having time” for something is really not wanting to take time away from more enjoyable activities.
Some of us have extra energy. This is why leisure and entertainment industries continue to grow. It’s also why outdoor recreation is abundantly popular in certain areas.
And, believe it or not, some people have so much money that they don’t know what to do with it all. In cases such as this, consumerism is often a misguided means to personal fulfillment.
Though the vast majority of those of us living in developed nations have an abundance of these resources, it appears that we lack the wisdom to recognize how to use them to uncover and pursue our greatest potential. Moreover, these resources are often wasted; those who need them rarely get the opportunity to use or access them.
I am awestruck by the opportunities that are available to us compared with the generations that preceded us. Never before have there been as many new conveniences— the Internet, microwave ovens, etc.—to improve the quality and productivity of our lives.
Several years ago, I heard a speaker point out that the modern conveniences we enjoy in our homes represent the equivalent of approximately two hundred personal servants in ancient times. He made this proclamation before the advent of home computers, the Internet, e-mail, cell phones, online banking, and many other technologies that have connected us to an ever-expanding world of convenience and efficiency.
Never before have there been as many diversions for our time, and never before have there been as many ways to increase—and spend—our energy. Never before have there been as many charitable organizations doing as much humanitarian work. Most importantly, never before has our understanding
of human potential and the path to achievement been as comprehensive as it is today.
One of the greatest demonstrations of pursuing personal potential is the story of Helen Keller. In 1882, she lost her sight and hearing, through illness, when she was only nineteen months old. Afterwards, she became a wild, rebellious, uncontrolled youngster and remained that way until a nearly blind teacher was attracted to the challenge of teaching her. As a result of Anne Sullivan Macy’s belief in Helen’s potential, she later attended Radcliffe College, studying French and Greek and typing her papers using a Braille typewriter. She went on to become a world-famous prodigy, raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind, lobbying for change around the world, and brightening the spirits of wounded soldiers during World War II.
Although she lived in a world of silence and darkness, Helen Keller refused to let a disability stand in the way of her potential. She altered people’s views of individuals with disabilities, while expanding the awareness of their own potential. Her greatest capacities were tapped because she never made peace with the status quo, and she never tried to be like anyone else. Instead, she invested all of her efforts toward becoming the best that she could be; she did so by thinking good thoughts and doing good deeds. Helen Keller saw herself as a change agent, having discovered the possibilities for positive change through her inner journey of self-awareness and achievement. Mark Twain said of her, “She will be as famous a thousand years from now as she is today.”
What about you? What is your untapped potential? How can you convert your view of life from “what is” to “ what can be”?
Winners do not leave the development of their potential to chance. They pursue it systematically with the excitement of knowing there are unlimited possibilities residing within, waiting to be discovered and put to work.
“The undeveloped piece of property with the greatest potential is still between the ears.” — Anonymous
What Makes a Great Leader - video by Ron Price