The Potential of Potential

Our Potential by Hugh MacLeod
Our Potential by Hugh MacLeod

I wanted to get out a quick thought this AM that was inspired by the cartoon above from the always excellent Hugh McLeod at (I own one of his prints and it hangs proudly in my home office as a little reminder to myself to fight the status quo).  If you haven’t checked out his site, you owe it to yourself to do so.

Potential is a funny thing… we all want it for ourselves, as we should.  We want to know that there is a limitless amount of possibility for ourselves and where we choose to take our lives.  However, potential has an interesting flip side to it when it comes to our own personal potential… the longer we have it without it being fulfilled, the worse it really is.  Then it becomes a reminder of what we could do, but haven’t.  Ugh.

It’s as if potential was an empty vessel of some kind and the larger it is, the more chance we have to fill it… but if it stays empty or barely filled, it just get dusty and disappointing.  It’s there to be filled.  It’s meant to be filled… or at the very least, the attempt to fulfill on its promise must always be engaged.

Before anyone thinks I am taking a good thing and looking only at its ugly side, I’m actually not being a pessimist here.  Instead, I seek to jab all of us in the side with a reminder that potential is a great thing, but a massive amount of unfulfilled potential due to lack of interest, desire or just plain hard work will always pale in comparison to someone who may have less, but dagnabbit, gets after it with fervor. And each of us never truly knows how big that vessel of potential is, do we?  Isn’t it better to put your head down, kick ass and see where the limits may be?  I’ve long had the suspicion that it’s not finite, but grows as we do…

There is also another very positive side to the concept of potential and this is less about your own personal abilities and gifts and more about what life can offer you.  In that sense, I know there is no upper limit to what can be.  The opportunities to try things, do things, see things and experience things is pretty much limitless.

So therein lies the battle cry for each of us (and definitely for me… remember people, I write this just as much to kick my own behind into action as yours): If we can each keep pushing the bounds of our own personal potential and life will always offer us limitless potential, then bringing those two things together is about as perfect a marriage as you can get.

In the words of two of the greatest poets of our time… Salt-n-Pepa, obviously… push it.  Push it real good.

“Blank” Something Different

In thinking over my previous post on breaking a funk and reclaiming my rightful mojo, I knew some action needed to be taken outside of… well… just writing a post about it.  While writing is certainly a form of action, it’s often more the declaration of desire than the actual exercise of change and movement.  I don’t believe this diminishes the importance of the writing, but it certainly clarifies in the grand scheme of change, improvement and all the other goodies this blog seeks to focus upon.

So what kinds of actions will be on tap for our intrepid blogger?  Well, a few notions (nothing overly radical) designed to break me out of my routine if nothing else.  Why is this important?  I see it basically this way:

If you are in a funk or a rut, you are clearly following a path of well-worn grooves that you’ve created for yourself.  It’s a routine and while it’s clearly not a good routine, it’s likely become comfortable nonetheless.  Therefore, to at least begin that critical process of being released from the funk, change is needed.  It can be a change in venue or perspective or habit, but until action of some kind that is just plain different takes places, you are working from a very difficult spot to free yourself from the rut.

A few short term plans to shake things up:

  1. Move something different.  I plan on making a bit of a resvision to my current exercise/training plan.  I really do enjoy the lifting scheme I use (Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1), but I have been doing it for quite a while now.  I have had great success with it, so instead of scrapping it all together, I am using his brand new 5/3/1 for Football to give myself a shot in the arm.  It’s not going to be a wholesale change in what I do, but then again, I don’t want it to be here because this has at least been going well (God forbid).
  2. See something different.  Sometimes you just need to just pause and take in in some visual inspiration at a museum and it’s been a while since I’ve gone new-britain-museum-of-american-art to a museum to soak up a little art.  It really is one of those things I always enjoy when I do it, but then I never do it often enough and then eventually catch myself think, “Huh… haven’t really been to a museum in a while…”  I always find it funny that I have several activities I really like to do, but then I never do them all that often.  They just seem to slip my mind so effortlessly.  But late Saturday morning will be spent at the New Britain Museum of American Art taking in what they have to offer.  It’s not a museum I have been to before, but I’ve heard excellent things about it.  My hope is that a little exposure to creative works will provide a jolt to my own creative juices.  I plan on having a post all about this experience on Saturday or early Sunday.
  3. Think something different.  In a sense, I will likely get this from #2, but I know that in order make a change, my mental approach needs to vary and adapt.  As I’ve written about before, I sometimes can be someone more-than-a-little leery of change… but I can also feel very invigorated by it.  If it’s self-created change, it tends to feel a little bit better because I can at least give myself that momentary illusion of control in the situation.  But in order to think differently, I might need to vary up my reading list.  This can be magazines, blogs, books and all of that good and wonderful written material the world has to offer… but I need something outside of my comfort zone.  I’m not 100% sure of where that is just yet , so I am open to some good and useful suggestions, i.e. while a book on acetylene welding techniques is certainly different… umm… that might be a little TOO different.
  4. Deal something different.  I’ve also decided I might make a deal with myself as a bit of motivation.  My home computer is seriously on the wane and I’ve been thinking of a replacement.  I’ve got a little money tucked away in some savings and I plan on hanging onto it… but I am also considering picking up a MacBook Pro whenever Apple decides to launch their newest version (which is allegedly soon, but who knows what decisions will be made by High Priest Steve and friends).  The deal would be if I do it, then this blog has to become a daily minimum.  In fact, I am thinking about waking up 45 minutes to an hour earlier each day and trying to use a bit of a morning energy to crank out a post or two.  This may be precisely the change I need, so stay tuned.

Time to stretch a bit out of the comfort zone and see what the end result may be.  Stay tuned for the mayhem to follow.

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