How many more children would have died if Jonas Salk didn’t live up to his potential?
I write a great deal about potential and greatness simply because I have yet to live up to my own. Sure, I’ve enjoyed personal and professional successes, but I sometimes feel like I’m a Formula 1 Indy car cruising on a winding country road on a lazy Sunday afternoon..
I know there is no scientific gauge to measure potential-lived-up-to, but I just know that there’s still a lot more in my tank. Conversely, if there was a scientific gauge to measure excuses-made-as-to-why-potential-has-not-been-lived-up-to, I’d be off the charts.
PROFOUND QUESTION Is living up to my potential and maximizing my capacity for greatness really necessary? Or, is it just a self-indulgent quest…just to see what I am actually capable of?
The only good thing I can think of that comes with age is wisdom. The younger me would view this living-up-to stuff as a highly unnecessary self-indulgent quest. Primarily because of my distorted view of my real self. The little older me would find the living-up-to stuff to be a challenging proposition; in this phase I was beginning to actually like myself. The me of today, older yet (hopefully) wiser, now sees this whole living-up-to stuff as something dramatically different:
An obligation and a responsibility.
Within all of us are talents, gifts, and abilities that are uniquely ours. To enjoy, yes. But, on a far greater level, to share. To offer to the world. Too often I think of the world in the abstract. I see the physical being of the world. Yet the world really is a collection of people. All born with their own collection of talents, gifts, and abilities. All with an awesome ability to change the world.
LIVING THE GIFT When people live up to their potential they change the world. When people manifest their own innate greatness they change the world. Like Jonas Salk. By living his gift and sharing it with the world, the lives of tens of thousands of children were saved.
Jonas Salk changed the world.
My collection of talents and abilities may never rival those of Jonas Salk. Regardless, it is my obligation and responsibility to do my part – however large or small – to make this world the best I can possibly make it. Every one of us has the capacity to make the world better. Simply by living up to our own greatness. Simply by sharing our greatness with the world.
Collectively, the results would be beyond description.
Living Half Full means never underestimating the profoundly positive impact achieving your greatness will have on the world and those around you. You are unique. Only you can ever be you. Failing to share your gifts with the world means that no one will ever benefit from what only you can offer the world. I think that would be quite sad.
Take a minute to rediscover your unique combination of talents and abilities. It’s quite impressive. The world absolutely needs you to live up to your greatness. Now more than ever.
For me, I consider it an obligation and responsibility. To me. To you. To the world.
I hope you do as well.
It’s a great day to be you!