Why am I always looking for more, better, bigger, faster?
Why am I challenging myself? Trying to learn new tools, stretching my boundaries, questioning my assumptions?
Why is it that I am willing to throw away what is certain for the chance of something that might be better?
Is it blind faith, misguided hope, or something else?
I like to think that it is simply untapped potential.
I can’t tell you how many times in school my teacher had to say to me that I wasn’t living up to my potential. It always got under my skin. Rubbed me the wrong way. Made me question how I was showing up, what my potential was, and how she knew I wasn’t reaching it.
I mean after all, what is potential? It’s not a certainty. It’s not definite. It’s not without doubt. It’s just a big maybe. Maybe you can do more. Maybe you can be bigger. Maybe there’s something else out there for you, that you are more well-suited to.
Whatever it is, I find myself standing at the precipice of potential. Behind me, is a career that has kept food on my table and joy in my heart for over 15 years. In front of me is a chasm of questions. An undefined journey. An opportunity… But for what? Success? Failure?
Whatever it is, I would rather try and fail. I would rather stretch and fall. I would rather challenge myself, and fall short than not try at all.
Never good enough.
Good enough isn’t. There’s something more for me, for you, for all of us on this planet. There’s something grand waiting there for the brave, or the foolish… Those among us who are willing to take the risks, and maybe… just maybe reap the rewards.
I’ve never been a huge risk taker. You won’t see me jumping out of planes, or going on huge roller coasters. I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, and I only went on a hang glider once… because it was a birthday gift, and I wasn’t willing to turn it down.
But a risk taker? Maybe a calculated risk. Maybe a chance. Maybe an opportunity.
But I am definitely not risk-averse. If it’s between taking a chance, or standing where I am… I can’t stop myself.
Maybe it was all the teacher's voices that messed with my head. You’re not living up to your potential. I’ll show them, I will find my potential, I will reach my potential, I will keep growing and stretching and changing and building and… and what?
You can’t do that forever. You can’t always grow and stretch and build. Sometimes you’re going to have to settle. Settle for good enough. Stay where you are and be happy there. Be satisfied.
Except I don’t know that I can do that. I just don’t think that’s me. Settle. It sounds so mundane. So boring. So ho hum, I guess that was the best I could do. I guess I finally reached my potential and it just wasn’t all that great.
Never satisfied, and I never want to be satisfied. I want to keep trying and striving.
But in my mind‘s eye, I can see it, I can feel it. This precipice that I’m staring at is going to change everything. And not just for me, but for all my loved ones, for everyone that I touch, for all of the communities and people and connections that I have in this world… I will do it for them. I will sacrifice for the opportunity of making this world a better place.
And if I fail, if I fall flat, if I never reach that potential… at least they can’t say I didn’t try. At least they can’t point to me and say there was someone who settled, who is easily satisfied, who left it all on the table… and wasn’t willing to push.
No, they can’t say that.
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