When you were growing up did your parents, teachers or coaches tell you how much potential you had? They might have told you that you had the potential to go on to do great things, win the state championship or ace your exam. Did it matter what kind of potential you had or that you delivered on it? Do you think people remember your potential or what you actually accomplished?
Delivering on your potential is the key to being awesome, improving your life and changing the world. Athletes in college get drafted based on their potential to perform at the professional level. Their salaries aren’t based 100 percent on potential though; they have performance clauses in them. If they make it to the playoffs they get more money. Win the championship and they’ll get a bonus. When an athlete delivers on their potential they get rewarded.
While it may be harder to quantify rewards in everyday life you need to focus not on your potential or ideas, but on bringing them to fruition. People have world changing ideas everyday, but without following through on them nothing happens. Do you think Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were the only two people that thought personal computers had the potential to succeed? They were just the ones that delivered on the concept.
I had ideas for countless blogs before I started Pocket Changed, but no one will ever know about them because I didn’t buy a domain, install WordPress and start writing about them. Its possible one of them would have been really popular, but I’ll never know because I didn’t deliver.
Having potential won’t make you successful. It may get your foot in the door, but you have to deliver on your potential to go all the way into the room. You may get into college or land your first job based on the potential you have to succeed, but if you can’t keep up with what is expected, you will fail.
Having potential is like a promise that you may or may not be able to keep. Jim has potential to be a great leader or Kelly has the potential to win the gold medal. You can talk all you want about how well something or someone is going to do, but if they don’t deliver the conversation is over.
Focus on delivering and you can outperform whatever people thought you had the potential to accomplish.