Potential Unreached

Reaching your life’s pinnacle is about doing, not doing, and choosing.

If you, like me, are in the pursuit of making the biggest positive impact on the world and the people in your life, then I have a few thoughts you might like to ponder with me.

Potential and opportunity cost are very closely related.

The first is all about what is possible, but not actual. When a mass has the “potential” for energy, it could mean a lot of things. Picture a boulder teetering on the edge of a cliff, with the slightest touch it could unleash the most amazing blast of energy.

I correlate this type of potential energy with that of an American Idol contestant. Deciding one day to swing the bat with a talent previously undiscovered. Either the talent was born as a boulder at the top of a cliff, a pebble on the sidewalk, or they created and pushed their mass uphill through brush and crags with a lot of hard work.

Then one day, in front of millions, they got the push.

Blam!!! Superstardom (or superfaildom).

Opportunity cost on the other hand is deciding which boulder to push up which hill. Do we go for the big boulder on the big hill? Maybe. The cost of pushing up one hill inherently means you aren’t pushing up another.

I spend my days building a company and not practicing opera in the shower (I promise). The opportunity cost here is that I will never be an overnight success on national TV. Well, I guess there is always shark tank…

Probably the worst of which is spending your days just thinking about what hill and what boulder to pursue. At least if you are pushing up something you are getting exercise and practice for the next hill.

What is really difficult is pushing two boulders up two hills at the same time. Most often by the time you run over to push the other one up a little, your original push recedes to the start again. People that tend to focus on one boulder at a time end up accomplishing the most in life.

Have you claimed your boulder? And have you claimed the cliff you are working towards?

The idea here is to think about whatever goal or accomplishment you are working on and whether you believe it has the potential to make a massive impact on the world. If the answer is no, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should stop hiking up, but perhaps just finish the task at hand so you can move on to the next push vs stopping midway to shift to another one.

The practice of doing is better than not doing. Unless of course you are working against your own greater potential of doing what you are meant to do. In which case, not doing might be better than doing. This of course is where choice comes into play. Make sure that what you are pursuing is a matter of choice and passion and the opportunity cost of not doing that other thing will be low.

Write a Comment