Hi Potential, Nice to Meet (and Exceed) You: Considering A New Potential Paradigm

I say that it’s our job (parents and educators) to help the children we serve meet and exceed their potential.  You might ask, “How is that possible?”  If you’re a regular Berg’s Eye View reader you know that I believe in limitless possibilities.  In fact, if you are a regular reader, you probably do to.  Through a traditional lens the word potential implies an end.  It represents a thing that we can achieve when we achieve everything we can.  It suggests that there’s a highest peak and a grand finale.  I don’t think there is.

Truly, how do any of us know what we’re capable of until we go for it?  Why would anyone ever imagine that there’s a cap on what can be accomplished without reaching just a bit further?  Why would we assign those kinds of limits to our children?  Our Students?

Don’t get me wrong…I do appreciate a good goal.  Something to shoot for makes a lot of sense while you’re shooting, but once you hit it, were do you go from there?  If reaching the thing you’re shooting for means meeting your potential, where do you go next?  Do you simply stop?  I say no, and I say we must not let our children think that there’s a limit to what they can go after.   Again, I believe we’re here to help them meet and exceed their potential.  Each time some potential is met, I say it needs to be reconsidered.  From my perspective potential is a living and growing thing, and I would argue that it deserves to be addressed as such.  We deserve it.  Our incredible children and students deserve it.

Sure, you win a few and you lose a few.  We don’t end up accomplishing everything we set out to accomplish, but how often do you surprise yourself?  How often do you do something spectacular and remind yourself of potential that you didn’t know, or forgot you have.  To the best of my knowledge, none of us has a surefire way to know that something is out of our reach.  Framing potential as an end might have the potential to stifle potential itself.

How do you help your students see beyond their perceived limitations?  In what ways do you encourage the type of enthusiastic exploration that leads to places beyond our wildest imaginations?  How do you help those you serve believe?

Live. Learn. Lead.


Dream Big. Work Hard. Be Well.


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