“I hate that word potential. It’s such bull shit. The reality of what you DO is all that really counts. What you DO with your potential is the ultimate truth. Your actions are what count. Potential means nothing. We all have potential. Fuck potential.”
— Todd Herman
I see potential as unused talent. Maybe vice versa, but either way it’s the reality of a squandered opportunity. A two-second Google search brings up the definition for squander as “waste in a reckless and foolish manner.”
Think about a few key words out of that short sentence. “Waste”, “reckless”, and “foolish”. None of them are flattering terms that you’d want to be associated with. Obviously it can be fun to waste something in a lavish state of mind, or to be reckless in a relaxed, care-free mode, or to be foolishly comical amongst friends, but given the context of the definition all three terms are left undesirable.
This is worth reasoning with because of the implications it has going the opposite direction. If squandering is being wasteful in a reckless and foolish manner then what is it to be productive in a bold and prideful manner? Regardless of attaching a title to that definition we can clearly evaluate it to be more desirable.
Leaving us with the decision of execution. The only thing standing in our way of realization of said potential is effort and execution. Sure, it’s hard as hell to take potential and put it to use. It’d be much easier to sit on it, hide it, or cower behind a weakness. At the end of the day that’s a discussion you have to have with yourself. I love being the consult and facilitator to that discussion, but quite frankly there’s no one you can be as honest with as yourself. That said, have the talk. Ask yourself if your true potential is worth it and if you have the stomach to suffer for it.