Thursday, September 29, 2011

Are you Achieving Your Full Potential?

I haven't achieved my full potential yet.  But I'm seriously working it.

I think all of us are born with the possibility of fulfilling our full potential. Babies are born wired for learning and children are naturally curious and eager to figure out the world around them. The more we learn and the more we explore, the closer we get to our full potential. Inherent in this process is the need to feel joy in the experience of learning and doing. A child who finds something she loves to do will be completely devoted to the task, fulfilling her brain's desire to learn, and her heart's desire for joy.

Many things get in the way of achieving our potential. I used to think that a strong brain was the most important component for success, but I have learned that intellect is not the key element in determining whether or not a person can achieve her full potential. More important than the brain is the heart.

The heart must be free experience joy. For it is in experiencing JOY that we find our full potentials. This seems simple, but I think that actually very few of us have grown up with a heart that is free to experience JOY. A baby who is left to cry alone in a crib is not experiencing JOY, and it will take time for her heart to heal from that trauma so that she can again seek her full potential. A child whose parent controls every aspect of her life--clothes, food, friends, activities--cannot fulfill her potential because she is not free to explore. A child who learns that her behaviour must be pleasing to adults is stifled because she has not learned how to make choices that please herself.

Many parents think that their children will more likely make a BAD choice than a GOOD one if given the opportunity. But a parent who trusts her children will empower her with knowledge and opportunity and then trust her to make a good choice for herself.  And if the child makes a choice that she discovers is not in her own best interests, the parent must still offer unconditional love and offer support and help.

I need regular reminders to not to get in the way of my children's innate ability to achieve their full potentials. It is not my job to make them into people who will eventually reach their potential. They are able to reach it everyday, as long as I am not stifling them with control or unreasonable expectations.  I must leave room for their joy every day, at every opportunity.

To achieve my full potential, I am opening my heart to joy.  I am forgiving past hurts and letting go of the guilt I feel about my own mistakes.  I am breaking down walls around my heart to allow myself to fully experience my full range of emotions, and to truly empathize with the feelings of those I love.  I am opening my eyes to find ways to connect with adversaries and I am opening my mind to new ideas and experiences.  I am letting go of so, so many fears.  I am accepting myself.

What are you doing to create a home where everyone can achieve their full potential?

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