Potential can be wasted, action can not. When you build your life on potential unsupported with action, the whole thing can, and will crumble. Or you will spend your days repairing a foundation that isn’t meant to sustain the weight of the life you put on it.
The same logic can be applied to any relationship whether it is with a partner, family, coworkers, or even your relationship with your work itself. Hoping that something will provide fulfillment based on what you think they can do (even what you believe they can do) is a one way ticket to disappointment, aggravation, frustration, anger, and resentment. I find that especially true with people.
I have spent a lifetime building relationships based on chances that shouldn’t have been given, repeating mistakes when we both knew better, and repeated frustrations that would have been avoided if the person gave a shit the first time it was brought up. It may have taken a lot, but I finally understand how flimsy our happiness is when invested in outside sources.
Potential, while lovely and necessary, is not enough. Hope, while enough to keep trying, is not enough to make it happen. Tangible actions are the only thing that will tell the truth or determine your results.
Rachel Wolchin wrote, “ ‘I wish things were different,’ he said. ‘We are the ones that make the difference,’ she replied. There’s something to be said about dreaming in unison.” This is apropos of the need to take action. It is also a reminder of being on the same level when talking about relationships. To not invest in the outside without knowing yourself enough to commit to an action and then to someone else.
I admire potential. I love the inspiration potential provides me. I love the blueprint and the planning that comes from potential. But I will not let myself be swept away with it. It’s too easy to get lost in what could be. While I will continue to foster potential, I will not covet it. I will trust what is in front of me and adapt as needed. I will not waste this life waiting for potential to bloom.