From Full of Problems to Full of Potential

Good morning from Westminster, MD!

Do you believe you are full of potential? How do you know? How does your view of your own potential impact the way you live? I would say quite a bit. The amount of potential you ascribe to yourself will shape the way you see your future. As humans, we are masters of self-fulfilling prophesy. If we believe we are hopeless and destined for a life of “less than”, apart from divine intervention, there is a strong likelihood we will consciously or unconsciously make decisions make decisions that lead us to that end. Conversely, if we believe we are full of potential and made for something more, there is a good chance we will live a life of significance.

How about others? Do you believe other people are full of potential? As someone who is married to an amazing wife and father to two incredible kids, my answer to this question is very important. This is because, fortunately or unfortunately, we have the power to influence the way those closest to us see themselves. If I believe my wife and kids are created to live a life of meaning, I will treat them as such. The words I speak to them, the actions I take on their behalf, and the way I generally treat them will reinforce this perspective in their lives. This will aid them in turning their potential into a reality. The opposite is true as well–if I see them as lacking potential, I will knowingly or unknowingly treat them accordingly, potentially impeding their progress.

How about the man or woman holding a sign at your local intersection? What about the person living in an impoverished neighborhood in the nearby city? The person growing up in poverty in a developing nation? What do you believe about their potential? What judgements do you make about what they could make of their lives? I have certainly been guilty of assuming certain people in society and our world are hopeless at times. If we are honest, I think we have all had those moments. What if we changed our perspective?

What if we began to see the person living in the midst of hopelessness as full of hope and potential? Might it change the way we treat them? Might it open up opportunities for people to write a new story?

Beginning to see people living in poverty as equal creations of God, full of potential but needing a opportunity to exercise it, will change the way we treat them. It also has the potential to change the way they view themselves. Think about it, if someone else believes in you, how much more likely are you to believe in yourself?

It is time we go from seeing the world and the people in it as full of problems to full of potential. It could potentially change the world.

James Belt

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