It’s really interesting, that each and every person who thought they were in charge of our development, have probably mentioned ‘there is more potential in you.’ Our parents, school and college teachers, bosses and leaders…
What is this potential and how come it is usually seen by others and I am never able to convert it into action?
Let’s try to dig a little into this aspect. Let’s start with what is potential.
As an adjective, it means ‘having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future.’ As a noun, it means ‘latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.’ Both talk about some kind of unused capacity or abilities.
The concern that I see here is that if I had the capability, then I would have used it. Why would I wait for someone else to confirm that I have some capability and the fact that I am not using it.
It’s like saying that, Sachin Tendulkar did not know that he had the qualities to become a great batsmen, and maybe he was confused between the choice of careers, Cricket and Singing! 😉
So, what’s the use of telling him that he needs to bat or unleash his unused potential.
I am sure all of us know of most of our capabilities. However, more often than not, there are some, that are either hidden or underutilized.
In the case of Sachin, I am certain that at a tender age, he might have figured out that he can bat. However, his true potential would have got unleashed only because someone around him was constantly telling him that, he has even more potential, than he is showing. He has personally credited his coach, Ramakant Achrekar, who was probably the reason that Sachin became the God of Cricket. He has also mentioned about the contribution of his elder brother, Ajit, who saw the cricket in Sachin and pushed him towards it, in his earliest ages.
It’s interesting to notice that even Sachin Tendulkar, the God of Cricket, needed some external assistance to unleash his true potential.
The point which I am trying to make, is that, human beings are all a capable or more. Our capability is never capped. We can always do more, as well as do it better. Sometimes, the challenge is the motivation and conviction. Ever so often, we need an external entity to reconfirm that we need to further push ourselves. Our parents, teacher, bosses…coaches in life. We must have heard the fact that, the hardest bosses are usually the ones who teach you the most, who influence your life the most.
Even at his super competence age, Sachin felt quite disturbed whenever he got out and he used to discuss his wicket with his coach, who, in all probability, used to scold him for any rash behaviour leading to his dismissal. He realised that now that he has been given the designation of God, he has even more responsibility. He needs to live up to his expectations and improve every single day.
Most of the times, we like people who only appreciate our work and don’t like the ones who point our gaps. This is purely because, we love our bubble. It’s pretty, nice and convenient to our egos. The challenge is that, it won’t get us to unleash our true potential, at any stage.
My suggestion and summary.
Early in your life or career, find someone who has the capacity to shake you up. Someone, who pulls capabilities from your hat that even you did not know you had.
Even when you get successful or reach a senior position, find a coach or mentor, who’s going to play the part of a devil’s advocate in your life. Don’t just surround yourself in a typical ‘yes boss’ environment. There is no cap to potential, which means, there is always some unused or underused capabilities. It still needs pushing.
P.S. The featured image was an after thought. I realised that the movie ‘Dangal’ has beautifully portrayed the torture that daddy Phogat applies on his daughters to unleash their potential. This has been repeated numerous times with sports personalities, playing a major part of their early grooming. I remember an interview with Saina Nehwal, where she mentioned that her success is dedicated to her mother, who pushed her beyond what she wanted at that age. It all seems like torture, while the process is on. However, the results are usually ground breaking.
I hope this made sense. I would really like to hear your thoughts about it. Looking forward.