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Reaching Our Potential – Part 1

I would like to begin this series with explaining the inspiration behind this series.  Thousand Foot Krutch is one of my favorite bands and one of my favorite songs by them is Fly on the Wall.  I have heard this song thousands of times, but a couple of weeks ago, it spoke to me differently; I realized there is so much more to this song than I originally realized – it is all about how we are not at our potential even though we are all capable of being kings and queens.  Here are the lyrics to this song:

The other night
I had a dream
There was a world full of kings and queens
But it was cold
Dark as the night
We were the fire on the moonlit skies

We weren’t divided
We were the same
And we were free
But we all wore chains
We couldn’t see it
But we created
A place between truth and overrated

If I could just see it all
Just like a fly on the wall
Would I be able to accept what I can’t control?
And would I share what I saw?
Or just sit back and ignore
Like nothing never happened,
I haven’t seen you before?

I’m on the run from a thief
I let into my head
I know, I hold the keys, so don’t be scared
When I turn and shout:

I don’t think I need you anymore
Take your words, and your lies and just beat it!
I don’t think I need you anymore
Take the hurt and the pain, I don’t need it!

I wanna live, I wanna be the change
We can all be kings and queens
If we can just learn to believe
If we can just learn to believe

We had a plan to build a wall
A great divide that would never fall
To separate us
From all the pain
And keep our skeletons locked away

And brick by brick
We built it so thick
That it blacked out the sky and all the sunlight
And one by one
We all became numb
We were making the bullets to a broken gun

If I could just see it all
Just like a fly on the wall
Would I be able to accept what I can’t control?
And would I share what I saw?
Or just sit back and ignore
Like nothing never happened
And I haven’t seen you before?

I’m on the run from a thief
I let into my head
I know, I hold the keys, so don’t be scared
When I turn and shout:

I don’t think I need you anymore
Take your words, and your lies and just beat it!
I don’t think I need you anymore
Take the hurt and the pain, I don’t need it

I wanna live, I wanna be the change
We can all be kings and queens
If we can just learn to believe
If we can just learn to believe

I don’t think I need you anymore
Take your words, and your lies and just beat it!
I don’t think I need you anymore
Take the hurt and the pain, I don’t need it!

I wanna live, I wanna be the change
We can all be kings and queens
If we can just learn to believe
If we can just learn to believe…

(To listen to the song, click on the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZUifYeKaQo )

The part of this song that spoke to me the most was the chorus: “If I could see it all just like a fly on the wall, would I be able to accept what I can’t control?  And would I share what I saw?  Or just sit back and ignore like nothing ever happened and I haven’t seen you before…I wanna live, I wanna be the change.  We can all be kings and queens, if we just learn to believe.”

This is the mindset of so many of us.  We sit back and watch saying and doing nothing – wanting to live, wanting to see and experience change, but doing nothing to make it happen when we all have the potential to be kings and queens.

A little backstory I want to share right quick is the reason for the name of this blog.  AMP2 stands for Accomplishing the Master’s Plan while Acquiring Maximum Potential (Get it?  AMP, AMP = AMP2).  Originally, this was the name of my nonprofit organization but when God laid it on my heart to start this blog and I was thinking of a name for it, I could not help but think that AMP2 was the PERFECT name considering the mission of this blog is to encourage people to accomplish God’s plan for their lives by sharing wisdom, experiences, and providing advice that would help them reach their full potential.  Not to mention, if I am going to use a name that encourages people to reach their potential according to God’s plan for their lives, should I not also do a series teaching people how to do that?

WE ALL HAVE VARYING POTENTIAL, but many of us are not striving to reach it.  We are shaped through our experiences and academics – this is how we gain knowledge.  Experiential knowledge involves learning from the stories of our lives; essentially, these are the things we have experienced.  Academic knowledge is learning from others whether it is through reading, listening, researching, or through the experiences of others including family, friends, and experts.  Our knowledge grows from the life we live and the things we learn.  Thus, we all have the capability to reach our potential.  However, many people run away from the burdens that come with striving to reach our potential and are unwilling to take on the weight of responsibility that is required to have ownership of the results.

There are many people in history who took on the responsibility of overcoming obstacles in order to reach their potential.  Let me give you a few examples:

Susan G. Komen: breast cancer
Blake Mycoskie: shoes
Scott Harrison: clean water
Martin Luther King Jr.: civil rights
Wendy Kopp: education

You may not agree with importance of certain people’s causes or approaches to reaching their potential, but you have to give them credit for taking the steps to reach their full potential.  I believe there is a direct correlation between the people we admire most in society and the way we live our lives – our motivation to reach our potential.  People who have reached their potential do not just have resumes, they have stores of solutions!

There is such a thing as personal predisposition – the idea that we can be anything we want to be.  To achieve your potential, you have to develop a sense of what you are naturally according to your interests, natures, strengths, and talents.  This allows you to understand what your potential is and avoid wasting time trying to be something you are not called to do.

Potential is an ominous term that cannot be measured, quantified, or defined.  Yet, we all have the ability to reach our fullest potential.  Throughout this series we will understand who has the ability to reach their potential, what it means to reach our potential, when to reach our potential, why we need to reach our potential, and how to reach our potential.  In order to do this, we must have an open mind.  Many opportunities pass us by because we are stuck in a certain way of thinking and are afraid of taking risks – if there is no real or perceived danger, take the risk!  Having an open mind is the first step in reaching your potential because it gives you the willingness to take risks.  The simple fact is this – we will never be the best we can be if we are always playing it safe.  Secondly, seek out new perspectives and contexts.  The more perspectives you seek, the more you push the boundaries of your mind.  Get outside of your box and move out of your comfort zone.  Third, “ask and you shall receive” (Matthew 7:7).  Ask God for guidance and direction for your life.  It surprises me how many people fail to get what they need simply because they are too afraid to ask.  The fear of rejection and embarrassment hold them back from asking for help.  In order to get what you need, you have to have the courage to ask – the wisdom to work together with others to accomplish what you cannot do alone.  Next, help others succeed.  The best way to reach your potential is to help others as much as possible; then, when it is your time to ask for help, people will be more inclined to help you in return.  By helping others, you create a wide network of support because truth is, most people cannot reach their potential on their own.  Fifthly, during this series, think differently.  Most people who have reached their potential have not been afraid to step out of the norm – such as Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Ralph Waldo Emerson who were considered radical thinkers and are now known from their genius minds.  This does not mean you necessarily go against the grain, it simply means having the courage to express your individuality.  It is accepting your unique strengths and talents that will help you reach your greatest potential.  Next, work smart, not hard.  This means saving yourself a ridiculous amount of time by paying attention and taking your time to do your research without obsessing.  Working smart means modeling other experienced individuals and doing your homework.  Lastly, change your auto-response – when you want to do something, don’t think about it, just do it.  Many of us pass by opportunities in life because we simply cannot make the decision.

I cannot wait to begin diving into this series.  This series will include topics about why we are not currently at our potential, learning to let it go, following God’s direction and making wise decisions, God’s gifts and using them, and essentially becoming kings and queens by reaching our potential.

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