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Potential is a latent excellence or ability that may or may not be developed. When something is latent, it means it is hidden. Anything hidden is only visible to the person that hid it, but to any other person, it may be non-existent.

Another meaning of potential is the capability to be or become, or possibility as opposed to actuality. For instance, it is possible for a man to become a multimillionaire, but in actuality, is he a multimillionaire?

Everyone carries a potential within, but not everyone becomes what he or she carries. Becoming is a physical expression of what a person is, inside. A man can die wealthy, healthy and ready inside, however, in actuality, he may die rusty, beggarly and unhealthily.

What a man becomes outside is as a result of the actions he takes, and the actions he takes will produce reactions. Reactions are either positive or negative, success or failure.

A man can never become what he didn’t plan to be. He can never become the result of the action he never took. Whoever you are (not whatever you are), you became through conscious or subconscious premeditation, and the environment you either carefully or carelessly positioned yourself. The truth about success is that if you do nothing, you become nothing, even if you are the best dreamer. Great dreams become nightmares for those who don’t take actions.

There is a corporation in Africa, which in those days, used to be the biggest. In this corporation, according to the story I heard was a Chief Executive who had a Gardener. The Gardeners were usually hired by the company as its employees.

The Chief Executive’s Gardener only had primary school education, but on beholding daily, the quality of life lived by his boss, he decided to think more about his life. He realised that for him to climb higher than his current position in the company, the only action required is to academically develop himself. With that in mind, he registered with an adult education institute and started attending evening lessons. After a couple of years, he wrote his ordinary level examination and passed. He was moved to the office to do some administrative jobs.

As a man interested in education, he felt that stopping at an ordinary level education wasn’t enough. So, he decided to fix his focus on going to the university. Due to his perseverance, he was admitted to study a certain social science based course. He did, and later graduated.

When there was a graduate opening in his organisation, he applied and was offered the post. To cut a long story short, the Gardener later became the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation that he once occupied the lowest rank. To end the story, some of his mates that they were all hired together as Gardeners, retired as Gardeners!

What were the step by step principles that this Gardener applied to become the Chief Executive of his company?

He saw in his inner man where he was going: I believe in looking inward to see your potential. I believe in beholding that potential daily, so that it becomes part and parcel of you. Your ability to daily behold your destination is called dream. If you keep dreaming, you will be possessed by your dream. What possesses you is what drives you.

He started from somewhere: anyone who wants to get to some place but doesn’t begin from somewhere will get nowhere. Beginning from somewhere may mean beginning from the lowest position. The lowest position may be the access point to where you want to be, but unfortunately, many young people don’t want to hear that.

He made a move from his starting point: I have seen many people get stuck where they started. They got acquainted with the location that they originally accepted as temporary. Today, they are unable to move because their minds have adapted to that position, and they have made genuine cases in support of why they should remain there. The Gardener refused to settle, and so, he moved.

He kept moving: some people move but settle midway to their destinations. To some, doing an administrative work would have been a success story, but the Gardener saw the topmost position in the company and focused on it. What he focused on, he got.

To reiterate the title of this article, ‘Do nothing be nothing’ Life isn’t magic. You can’t be, except you do. You are only a potential until you activate your innate abilities. Being a potential is nothing until you inject work and action into it. Hate me if you like; I say with all confidence, ‘You are nothing until you do something’. Do something with who you are inside!



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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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