The Story of "Potential", A Gnarly Mysterious Bitch |


Oh, “potential”. I have such strange, confused, mixed-up feelings about you…and I hope other people do, too.

Because let's be real, we thrive on the belief that things “have potential”. Even junky things, like a lame-o boyfriend, a crappy new job, or (often) our own damn selves.

All of these things are brimming with potential, we swear! No really, our boyfriends/jobs/selves are so ripe and powerful, full of the almighty “P”!

He/it/we have so many possibilities and promises brewing beneath the surface and if he/it/we let it loose on the world it would be skyrockets in fuckin’ flight! YES! Hold onto your hat, little lady, because our potential will blow your fuckin’ mind like pop rocks and coke to your brain-piece!!

And yet there are times when we overly invest in our ideas (er, lies) of something’s potential, and ignore what’s actually going on right in front of us.

Yes, believe it or not, potential can have a dangerous way of sweeping you up into a fantasy world where your current reality loses its power, and cannot adequately aid you in decision-making or awesome life-curating.

Overly investing in potential means you don’t want to think about the fact that your boyfriend gets wasted five nights a week and hasn’t held down a job in three years and keeps talking about wanting to move in together, but never actually follows through. And yet you continue to see the "potential", somehow...

Or it means that you don’t want to fess up and admit that continuing to pursue your music career is killing you, so you hang your hat on the potential payoffs down the road despite your current misery. Ignore your very real, current pain, and just obsess over what maybe-might-could-hopefully-eventually occur, right??

Or maybe you don’t want to admit that even though you feel like you have the potential to be amazing at X, you haven’t actually tried it…and you might kind of suck…and you don’t know how to just white-wash everything with this fervent, clinging hope to an imaginary potential that ultimately serves you in staying stuck.

Cause let’s be real, who doesn’t honestly enjoy staying stuck?

Even I (INSPIRATIONAL LIFE COACH MAGEE) find comfort in a bad habit that keeps me trapped in a less expansive version of myself. Yes, blindly investing in "potential", with zero ounces of forward motion, is a bad habit.

Because inactive, “I swear it’s there!” potential is such a safe, cozy, cocoon of fake-greatness.

When I’m in that cocoon I get to tell myself that there is so much friggin’ potential that I don’t even have to do anything. Instead, I can sit back and wait for something to spark. The potential's there! Surely it'll take hold at some point!

And that belief, my friends, is the kool-aid of investing in un-supported, perceived, “potential”.

As long as we continue to blindly believe in potential, without noticing or creating some real world evidence or momentum in that direction, we are straight-up kidding ourselves.

And if that’s working for you, then have at it! Keep it up. I totally understand staying in the safe, cozy, cocoon of fake-greatness. It’s so warm and comforting…y’know, like wetting the bed is warm and comforting at first.

Because honestly looking at what isn’t working hurts. It sucks. It’s paaainful.

It forces us to see what we haven’t wanted to face, and then we cannot un-see it. Because if you’re anything like me, once you notice what isn’t working, you really feel like you have to do something about it.

Which is where potential can actually prove very useful. 

Because in our heart of hearts, we know there is a better version out there. A better relationship, a better job, a better us. Even without moving forward, we can sense it and see it and feel it.

Potential whispers, “Hey, you’re better than this…” or, “Yo, you deserve more…” or, “But…wouldn’t it be great if it could be more this way?”

Potential shows us where we would rather be, what we would rather be doing, or anything we would rather have. And if we decide to pay attention to that calling and honor it, then that, my pretties, is where life gets really good.

Because actively choosing to move towards a brighter, happier, more feel-good version of something is (in my opinion, which you are free to disagree with) the greatest, coolest aspect of being alive. If you’re not here to get better, do better, be better, feel better then I honestly don’t know what you’re doing here. And I don’t mean “here” as in “on this blog”, I mean “here” as in, “on this planet”.

I want you to invest in your own potential in such a way that it lights a fire under your ass.

I want you to tune into the whispers of potential for guidance, inspiration, and motivation, and be moved by it.

Let your ideas about potential point you in a given direction, and then attach a jetpack to whatever you think might get you closer to it.

Because just sitting on potential kind of blows. And chasing a dream of potential that doesn’t actually exist can drive a person crazy.

But honoring potential and taking active (sometimes baby) steps in that direction is delightful. The only way to get where you want to be, and fulfill your idea of potential, is to move away from the things that are not in line with that vision.

And just because I now there are some of you who really like the cocoon of fake-greatness and sleepy-time kool-aid potential, I feel the need to say this:

You need not worry if you don’t feel like moving just yet. Because life will show you, time and time again, where you are not satisfied. Where things are not good enough. Life will continue to remind you that you are the only one who can light a fire under your own booty to make a change or find a different way…life is very, very good at continually showing us that.

So you can hit “snooze” on potential for as long as you’d like, but the alarm will not power down. You will have future opportunities. But hey - why not get moving now? What’s stopping you? What’s so great about staying stuck, anyway?

I can’t answer these questions for you, but I would love for you to begin answering them for yourself. And in those answers you are saying no to blind, numb, investment in your tired ideas of potential, and saying yes to active ingredients for rich, happy, pop-rocks-and-coke style living. You deserve that. We all do. Get movin’. Get shakin’. Let me know how it goes…

BlogAmy YoungComment