What is potential? As per Wikipedia; “potential generally refers to a current unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics to the social science to indicate things that are in a state where they are able to change in ways ranging from simple release of energy by objects to the realization of abilities in people”. In simple terms the potential can be defined as the latent qualities or abilities that can be developed which can lead to achieve the desired goals. For example, when large quantity of water is stored in a reservoir by building a dam, the water acquires potential energy to drive a water turbo-generator to produce electricity. When water is heated to very high temperature under pressure, it acquires heat energy which can be directed to drive a steam turbine couple with an electrical generator to produce the electricity. The water used to produce the electrical energy is the same water, a chemical composition of hydrogen and oxygen which can drive the mighty turbines and produce electrical energy. It means that the water possesses the potential energy which can be developed to produce electrical energy. Likewise, every object has great potential hidden which can be developed to offer immense opportunities of being a useful product. Nuclear material is another example of the latent energy stored in material which can be exploited for useful purpose.
Each and every human beings also possess infinite potential hidden within which too can be developed to make the human beings more useful and successful in life. There is no bar on the limits where a human being can go if he/she decides to scale newer heights everyday in life. Take a seed of a big tree for an example. The seed can lie as an inert object in a store room but once planted in a fertile ground and nurtured properly, a life sprouts out from the soil as a small plant and it grows to a large tree with the passage of time. The seed has inherent potential to manifest itself into a large tree laden with branches, leaves, fruits and flowers. What was required was to plant the seed in the proper soil and nourish it to be able to develop it into a large tree. The human life is also similar. When a child is born or rather we can say that when the child is conceived in mother’s womb, the seed is planted there. When the child takes birth, it needs to be well nourished, looked after and imparted proper training and education to develop and manifest the immense potential hidden within the child to become a great person. The child may have some innate qualities in particular subject or field by birth which needs to be further nourished and trained to acquire excellence in the given field. The child can become a great singer, a great musician, a great player, a great academician, a great physicist or a great chemist, a great scientist or a great politician. There is no limit on the capabilities to be achieved. When the plant is nourished well and allowed to grow freely, it automatically assumes the form of a big tree. A child can also become great person in his chosen field if duly supported by the society and allowed to grow unhindered.
We all remember what the great Indian thinker, philosopher and a Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda said more than a century ago about the hidden quality of the soul. He said; “Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy – by one, or more, or all of these – and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.” What is divinity? The divinity is Godliness; the powers those possessed by a God are limitless, means one cannot put any limit to the powers possessed by God. These powers are beyond the powers possessed by ordinary human beings. We can call them supernatural powers. If a soul is potentially divine, it amounts to saying that the ordinary soul possesses a hidden power to become even God and acquire the supernatural powers like God. The statement made by Swami Vivekananda is not just a casual statement but has deep spiritual meaning. It is revealing the truth to the mankind to work hard towards the manifestation of the divine powers and qualities. As swami Vivekananda has said, what we need to do to achieve the divinity is; we have to manifest this divinity by controlling the nature, work, worship and acquiring the proper knowledge.
What is the limit where a human being can reach in life? I would say that the sky is the limit. When we can achieve the divinity, we mean that we can become the God; it means nothing is impossible for us. There are many examples of great personalities who were ordinary children during their young age; even faced multiple failures in life but with sheer determination and hard work could rise to great and unbelievable levels. People know that Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor felt he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Similarly, Oprah Winfrey was publicly fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore for getting “too emotionally invested in her stories.” Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California School Of Cinematic Arts multiple times. The list is endless and includes many Indians like Lord Rama and Lord Shri Krishna from the ancient period to the present time super star Rajnikanth, industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani, scientist Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, super star Amitabh Bachchan, technology giant Narayan Murthy, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and many more.
One more thing we have to note that the age is not a bar to achieve greater heights in one’s field. There are many great people who struggled during initial phase of their life but they never gave up. Their hard work and determination made them to achieve great success during their later years of life. Abraham Lincoln is considered as probably the most defeated man in the world. After losing so many times in different elections, he succeeded in becoming the president of the United States at the age of 51 years. Harland David Sanders who after multiple failures in life started the famous ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken-KFC’ at the age of 62 years which has today over 18,800 outlets in 118 different countries.
So, it is evident that the failures are not final and successes are never ending. Moreover, the success does not come automatically. There are always lots and lots of hard work behind every success and every successful person. To be successful few things are very essential in life. You have to have a clear vision in life. You have to have clear targets in life. The vision and targets are to be supported by diligent planning, hard work, and an analytical mind to foresee the path one is marching on and take corrective actions timely if deviations are encountered. One has to be honest and determined to achieve the goal. If these pre-requisites are met, nobody can stop you to reach the goals and realize the infinite potential hidden within.
Readers of this blog may also read my other blog on spirituality, “We are Co-travelers on this Planet” at the following URL: