Yes You Can!
A Brief Overview of Potential
By: J. Marlando
The chances are that you desire to love more, succeed at more, know more and have more happiness and contentment in your life than you now possess. I am here to assure you that you can because all these things are already yours (in abundance) in your potential.
Indeed, potential can be called an infinite pool of “abundance” but before going too far into tapping into that abundance, I will give you my supposition of why this is. You will note that nearly all scientists and other theorists typically leave human potential out of their opinions and speculations. One reason for this, they consider potential—if they consider it at all—an epiphenomenon of the brain which only means a working part or function of the physical brain like thinking. Anyway, for potential to be potential it must be unlimited and have omniscience—the physical brain fails at both these qualifications! Indeed, except for the genetic dictates of its survival functions, the brain is dependent on experience and learned information. Most simply, the brain does not start out knowing stuff like what the big hand and little hand of a clock signifies or that “red” means stop and “green” means go or how to land a space craft on Mars. Yet, all that knowledge was already in our potentials just waiting to be tapped into. Agreeing with this proposition, the omniscience of our potential does not come from the brain, as commonly thought, but rather through it.
Every writer, for example, has been asked, “Where do your ideas come from” and the obvious answer is “I released them from (or tapped into them in) my potential.” Joe the Plumber, Einstein and Elvis all used the same source only for different reasons and perhaps for different callings or motivations. In fact, plumbing was ever as much in Einstein’s and Elvis’ potentials as it was in Joe’s and is in yours and mine.
This brings up another vital point:
Potential cannot be individualistic! I’ll explain why by saying—potential cannot be limited by being a personalized attribute. In other words, you and I and everyone else tap into the same reservoir of information, talent and abilities called “our potentials.”
In the above view, common sense alone tells us that potential must be collective and no doubt belongs to consciousness in the Jungian sense. That is, to a collective unconscious that we all draw from no matter if we are Okies from Muskogee, Eskimos in Alaska, Camel tenders on the desert, sheep herders in the mountains, sailors at sea or members of parliament—we all draw from the same pool of possibilities. (This is why we humans respond to so many of the same symbols even though our cultures may be “worlds” apart).
A lot of people will ask, “If we have all this equal and unlimited potential why don’t we all become rich and famous?” Although we might all claim to favored that option, most people do not desire either, they prefer a common life—but then again there are also those people who never realize they have a choice of course so they simply do what comes along, so to speak and as said, roll with the punches and go with the tide.
Another thing is that most people are convinced that the world acts on them when it’s really the other way around.
Whenever I write or speak on the subject of our human potential I always repeat that great saying by Henry Ford as I know of no other statement that captures the essence of potential better. He told us that, if we think we can or if we think we can’t, we are right.
The moment we say or think that we “can’t” do a thing we keep the doors of our potential closed and as a result our possibilities are limited. To say, I could never be a mechanic, an artist, a bridge builder or anything else is to create the reality—as Ford would say, if we say we can’t, we can’t. On the other hand, if we think we can the doors of our potentials open and in this way our possibilities become unlimited and so, as Ford would say, if we say we can, we can.
Most certainly all this raw opportunity or natural talent is often blocked by the concepts given us. For example, a child who has never been encouraged or told that he or she is capable of excelling in whatever they decide to do in their lives may become a closed system. That is, the person who believes they are incapable of doing much more than the menial will probably spend a life time doing exactly that. They simply will never realize that they have an unlimited potential to tap into if they choose too.
Indeed, with all this in mind, I believe the best news about our potentials arrive from Howard B. Lewis and Harold S. Streitfeld in their book, Growth Games who say to us:
You are almost certainly better that you think you are. More than you permit yourself, you can be happier, stronger, braver. You can be more loving and giving; warmer, more open and honest; more responsible and responsive. You can perceive worlds richer and fuller than you now experience. You have it in you to be more creative, more zestful, more joyous. All these prospects are within you. They are your potential.
When we know only this much about ourselves, we can begin opening to the unlimited possibilities of our lives. This too is in our potential as human beings.