How bad do you want “it?” The “it” as previously discussed is your potential and potential is the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be. At this moment in time you are some version of your best self. You are either living with fulfillment or frustration and it all depends on the collection of pursuits you’ve taken thus far in life. If you are presently fulfilled you are thinking about the future in light of opportunity. If you, on the other hand, you are frustrated you have discovered that unrealized potential is nothing more than wasted talent. It is one thing to identify your potential; it is quite another to pursue and live it out! You are either growing or dying…you are not staying the same.
PURSUIT IN PLAY
If your desire is sufficient and you’ve taken the leap then what did you learn? Did you make it? Are you now where it is you have always wanted to be? Did you indeed catch your dream and has your life taken a turn for the better? Along the path, did you encounter pain in any form; perhaps failure? Clearly you did not allow it to stop you! You are living a life of fulfillment as you have discovered the true value of pursuit. You have learned that there is nothing that can stop you from reaching your full potential. You first identified it, then you chased it and now you are living it!
This is the story of Michael Jordan whom most will say is the greatest basketball player to have ever lived. Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York as one of four children. Very early in his childhood, Jordan’s parents made the decision to move the family to Wilmington, North Carolina away from the notorious crime that characterized Brooklyn. It was between junior and senior high that Jordan was introduced to basketball. He was 5 feet 10 inches and filled with potential. He was at least 3 inches taller than any other of the other 10th graders, but he was cut from the team after his first tryout effort. This drove Jordan to work even harder on his game, often cutting class to shoot free-throws in the gym. His older brother Larry worked with him everyday after school. To go along with his hard work and determination was a 5 inch growth spurt between his sophomore and junior years. At 6 feet 3 inches tall, Jordan dominated the courts during his senior season and drew the attention of nearby University of North Carolina. Jordan was offered a full scholarship and the rest of the story is now in the record books. Michael Jordan was born with great potential for the sport of basketball but it was not until he pursued it with fierce tenacity that his life changed. Potential gave power to Jordan’s pursuit and he never slowed down, EVER!
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
If you are frustrated then you are living unfulfilled. You believe that your life has greater potential than what you are currently living but you have been unwilling to take the steps necessary to remedy your situation. Remember the reality of the cold hard truth…”unrealized potential is nothing more than wasted talent.” Your problem is not with identification, after all the gap is the source of your frustration. Your struggle is with the first step, but you must realize that if nothing ever changes then everything will be the same. Taking your first step toward closing the gap has everything to do with your desire and how bad you really want “it.” Sure, if and when you decide to pursue your potential you will experience pain. You will question yourself. You will want to retreat to your comfort zone. You will try to talk yourself out of the decision you made to change the trajectory of your life. It is in these moments that your pursuit becomes so problematic BUT you do not have to settle…
At this point, I wish I could share a story that would bring clarity to this matter. The world does not reward mediocrity and impartiality. The reason that Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player in history is that he chased after his potential and caught it! This is not to say that his pursuit was smooth-sailing and 100% free of setbacks, failures and frustrations. The thing that made Jordan great was his perseverance; after all, he was cut from the high school basketball team! He did allow this failure to define him. He failed fast and lingered on the learning. He let this experience fuel his drive and his determination was manifested in his multiple trips to the gym each day. Michael Jordan did not wait for another season to occur to begin his preparation. His focus and willingness to navigate the pain set him up for future success. If Michael Jordan allowed his setback to shape him, the world would never have known him and the Chicago Bulls would not have owned 6 NBA Championships!
IT WON’T BE PRETTY, BUT IT MUST BE
So you are currently going through a setback. What are you going to do about it? The longer you contemplate the less likely you will actually do something to change your situation. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “paralysis by analysis” this is precisely what I am suggesting. You have a picture of perfection in your mind and that picture is your potential fully engaged. I’ve got news for you…you will never be perfect! As phenomenal of an athlete that Michael Jordan is, he will never be perfect. Your imperfection is not an excuse for impartiality. The fact that your potential will never be perfect is not a consolation for you to remain confined to your comfort zone. Your pursuit will not be pretty, by any stretch of the imagination. You will hurt, you will suffer and you will second-guess. There has been something consistent in your life that has stopped you from reaching your potential. It will continue to stop you and leave you unfilled until you fully commit to continuing your pursuit. The goal of life is not perfection but what its also NOT is mediocrity and wasted talent. Your pursuit will not be perfect but is must be!