Realizing Your Own Potential

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So last week Mark Zuckerberg and his wife announced they were having a baby. It reminded many of us that Mark was married, and it reminded us that someone named Priscilla Chan existed in the world. Naturally, I decided to google her again, to see what she did other than be Mark Zuckerberg’s wife. One of the articles that popped up was her and Mark donating a large sum of money to schools in their area because they valued education.

Priscilla talked about the value of education in her own life, saying the following:

If you’re the first generation to go to college, sometimes you don’t realize your potential until others point it out.  It was really my teachers that got me these opportunities to attend college, to go to medical school, and to be able to give back as a doctor today.They’re the ones who said, “You know, apply to Harvard. You might be a good fit here.”And then when I got to Harvard, it was even more opportunities that I didn’t know existed. So their effects have only compounded over time.

What resonated with me in that article was her views on her potential. Sometime we really don’t recognize our own potential. Sometimes, we spend too long comparing ourselves to our peers or listening to teachers who doubt us to see our own potential. Many of us are fortunate to know someone who’s at one point or another seen our potential and gave us words of encouragement. They’re the ones we should listen to.

Occasionally, we’ll run into instances when our surroundings don’t allow us to realize our full potential. There’s not always going to be a teacher who’s encouraging us and seeing potential in us. There’s always going to be a colleague who dampens our spirits by their superior potential. These things can weigh us down at times and make us think that we’re not suited for more success.

There are times that I think we have to resort to being our own encourager/cheerleader. It’s hard to have a bright outlook on life when people around you are weighing you down. But we must remind ourselves of our endless potential and strive to pursue our dreams, whatever they may be. Who knows, you might prove some naysayers wrong along the way.

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