How many time do we hear this said of ourselves and then then start to feel really proud of our accomplishments because someone has said this to us. For most of us this would be the norm. Why? Because it makes us feel good about ourselves, doesn’t it. Be truthful, we all like to have nice things said about us.
Not many of us have thought what may be implied with the comment “You’ve got real potential.” What do I mean, well for example, someone saying this could also mean:-
1 – “You’ve got real potential” – Why don’t you start working hard and get good.
2 – “You’ve got real potential” – You’re not very good because you don’t have the discipline.
3 – “You’ve got real potential” – If only you’d bother to try and achieve your potential
4 – “You’ve got real potential” – You’ve got real potential, sadly you are never going to reach it.
5 – “You’ve got real potential” – Umm, I can’t think of anything nicer to say
6 – “You’ve got real potential” – Keep practicing hard and correctly and you’ll stay on the path to achieving that potential.
So the next time you get told “You’ve got real potential” be honest with yourself and ask yourself what it really means for you. We all hope it’s number 6, but it’s up to you, to make sure it is #6 rather than one of the others.
Look at some of the sports stars, who had potential, Paul Gascoigne from Football, you could even argue Johnny Wilkinson from Rugby, although a superb Rugby player never reached his full potential due to injuries, Tim Henman, great for British Morale and bringing the country together at Wimbledon’s Tennis week but again never achieved his full potential and lets not forget about Iron Mike Tyson, one of the best boxers ever and he threw it all away whilst still in his prime. All of these stars were in their own right very talented (much better at something than most of us can hope to achieve) and very good, having had some great successes, but they never really nailed it, so they are unlikely to be remembered in the same way as Bobby Charlton, Gareth Edwards, Roger Federer or Muhammed Ali, who all ‘made it’ and are remembered, revered and respected because of it.
What was the difference? Maybe a little luck and certainly a lot of skill, but not to forget the words of Gary Player when asked about his ‘lucky streak.’ “It’s funny, the harder I practice, the luckier I seem to get.”
If you want something badly enough, then work hard enough to achieve it and depending upon how important it is to you, decide what you are prepared to sacrifice to get it. Be prepared for setbacks and knock-backs along the way. Sometimes your short term plan won’t work out, don’t get despondent, keep working on the plan, make corrections, make improvements. Analyse what you do and why and how it’s working for you. That is of course if you want any chance of reaching your full potential.
Remember the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.