Potential

Question of The Day October 10, 2012 ~ Living To Their Full Potential ~

What is it that prevents people from living to their full potential?

That is a very interesting question.

What actually is the potential of any of us.
I suspect that it is limited mostly by our beliefs, mostly by the things we think are true but are not, and partly by our habits.

And it is interesting to contemplate how we each got the beliefs and habits that we have.
For each of us, it seems likely that most of them have come from some aspect of culture (be it social, economic or scientific or whatever).
One could then say that it is culture that has given us those limits.
And if one considers further, it is clear that a person alone, devoid of culture, is little different from an ape, and is in most respects – mad.

Human beings require a culture to start.

We require human interaction to shake us out of our set ways from time to time.
So while it is partially true that our limits are given by culture, it is also true that in large measure it is culture that delivers the tools to transcend those limits.

So yes – a very interesting, very recursive question.


The other interesting aspect is potential.

What could “potential” mean?

I suspect that we have no real limits.
I suspect that we are, potentially, unlimited.

If that is in fact the case, then our potential is anything at all that we choose it to be.

That notion too has a very recursive quality to it, potentially infinitely looping back on itself.

And we must all accept that we are where we are, before we can powerfully choose a path to some other place.
And there are so many forces in our society that are not at all interested in individuals gaining real self awareness and real power to determine their own paths in life.

It is indeed – a very interesting question – quite the most interesting question in a long time.

Two quite distinct infinities nested in a single question.
Nicely done Janet!

[followed by]

Hi Deb

So many interesting variations on a theme in this idea.

If we are infinitely capable (ie capable of doing almost anything, but not everything) then our potential is infinitely flexible – we can achieve whatever we choose.

You bought up the idea of motivation.
That is a really interesting idea also.

Where does motivation come from?

In the first instance, it seems that most of it comes from a combination of genetic and cultural factors.
As we build our levels of awareness, the consequences of our own choices have a greater and greater influence over our own motivation; though it does not appear to be even logically possible to entirely override the genetic and cultural components – it seems that some shadow must always remain.

Then there is the notion of habit. The more we use any pattern, the more likely that pattern is to appear in whatever domain we are operating in. This seems to apply to all meta levels of pattern too. So habits can carry over by analogy from one domain to another, from one plane to any series of transcendent planes.

So motivation is also a very interesting, and again potentially infinitely recursive concept – where we seem able to increase our degrees of freedom, and yet never to achieve complete freedom (whatever that might look like).

There are so many different levels at which we can “BE”.
The levels seem to be without end.

In a sense, we cannot do anything other than “BE” what we be, in any specific instant.
In another sense, it does appear that we are capable of choosing purpose, and directing our activity at specific goals, or in specific directions.

Choice is a very interesting thing.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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