TED Conversations

Kaleb Roberts

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Have you realized your potential?

How did you do it?
Did you just one day wake up, work hard and suddenly you're at the top? Or are you struggling every day, not realizing it, sitting at a desk, watching these TED video's and praying for a better life.

If I may ask, what are your individual stories behind your passion and potential?
Was it starting a company in you're basement, knowing that you could do something better? Or inside a multi-billion dollar company starting in the mail room, then suddenly working on the thirtieth floor?

People's stories, especially on topics like this, really really interest me. I want to learn from them, so maybe I can realize my potential. Any thoughts?


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    Dec 23 2012: Hi Kaleb,
    I believe I have reached my potential at any given time, and there is always more potential.

    The basis of this feeling or belief is that life is a journey, and at any given time, I am reaching the highest potential in that particular moment. For me, it is not about being "at the top", unless we are refering to being "at the top" in that moment. I do the best I can throughout the life journey, and a part of that practice means NOT struggling, or imagining a "better" life in any way. I LOVE being fully engaged in the moment...whatever opportunity the moment offers:>)

    The only "story" regarding passion and potential for me, is to "BE" all that I can "BE" with whatever situation I am moving through in the life adventure. I am a daughter, sister, aunt, mother, friend, TED participant, former owner of small businesses, former competitive athlete, retired professional actor, model, singer, dancer, gardener, mentor, volunteer in several social services agencies, guest lecturer at the university, survived cancer and a near fatal head injury.....

    We can realize our passion and potential in each and every moment by being fully present and engaged with all of life.....in my humble perception and experience:>)
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      Dec 24 2012: Hi Colleen: I think you have a very precise and smart idea about life journey. I completely agree with you. I think that one of the most fascinating experiences one can develop is just trying to do our best on a new and unknown challenge. If not, life lost a great part of its sense.
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        Dec 24 2012: Thank you Sean. I LOVE living life with the curiosity of a child and unconditional love. The life adventure is, as you insightfully say, fascinating:>)
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          Dec 25 2012: I agree with you. For those of them who hadn't a nice childhood and for everyone, to live with a huge curiosity is one good way (or the best?) for never begin to die, for renew oneself constantly, for making the best use of our time and energy. It's very curious for me, because what you think about that point is just the same as I think about, and I try to convince to my friends about that's a very good way of thinking.
          Or telling it in other way: If one don't see life with child's eyes, one is beginning to die. (Somehow).
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      Dec 24 2012: so you are saying life takes place now
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        Dec 24 2012: In my humble perception sir, yes...now. This moment has never "been" before, and will never "be" again....it is the only reality. I know you know this:>)
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          Dec 25 2012: Otherwise it is sort of like driving down the road by looking in the rear view mirror.
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        Dec 25 2012: Yes....or like letting your wake run your boat:>)
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      Dec 25 2012: Hi Colleen,

      You talk about living now, how can I do that? I know it should be an easy thing to understand, but for some reason, I find it very hard to fathom. I've learned to be grateful for the simplest of things (Watching the sunrise over the islands in the harbor for instance) Perhaps I'm greedy, I'm not sure, but I feel like there has to be more than this. I don't believe in working all day every day to gain financial happiness, but I do it. I want to change the way people see the world, again I have no idea how to do this. Maybe I'm just not capable of being satisfied. I'm just to hungry for life's experiences and lessons. Are things always like this?

      I know it sounds strange (It sounds strange to me as I'm writing this) but there are nights I cannot sleep, because of this burning hole in my chest. This isn't caused by anything physical, rather it's what drives me. I cannot sleep knowing that things in this world, (even just in this one town) are the way they are. Is this normal for people who want change?
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        Dec 26 2012: Hi Kaleb,
        It sounds like you are already living in the NOW. I find that gratitude is a big part of being fully present and mindfully aware in the moment. What is the "MORE" you are seeking?

        Do you think/feel it might be helpful to be clear in yourself before trying to change how others see the world? I find the best teaching method is to "BE" what we want to "SEE" in our world.

        You say..."maybe I'm not capable of being satisfied...just hungry for life's experiences and lessons".

        I have been told a couple times that I am never satisfied BECAUSE of my desire and love of learning, growing and evolving in each and every moment:>) I AM totally satisfied with each and every moment, AND I KNOW there is MORE learning and growing, which I will be doing until I take my last breath on this earth school:>)

        Life is what we make it....don't you think? In my perception it is always about learning and growing. I don't generally lose sleep because of the way things are. As thinking, feeling, intelligent, evolving human beings, we have choices. I choose to be clear about how, why, when, where and with whom I spend my time and energy.

        It is unrealistic to think that as individuals we can change our world. It IS realistic, in my perception, to believe that we can CONTRIBUTE to change in our world.....yes? If we are losing sleep because of our thoughts of all the things in our world that need changing, we may not be using our time, energy and potential in a productive way? The body and mind need sleep to function well.

        How about choosing one thing that you will pursue in your desire to change the world? It depends on your time committments, finances, skills and talents, etc. at different stages in your life. For example, when my kids were little, I volunteered for activities that involved the kids. When I retired, I spent time and energy volunteering with social services agencies. What are YOU capable of, and interested in doing right now?
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          Dec 26 2012: Hello Colleen,
          For some reason, that just clicks. Right now, I've started (with my room mate who happens to be a local Priest) a group called Illogical Arithmetic. Our current project is starting the inside out project here. We've started to undertake this so hopefully it will open peoples eyes, and then they can see the sunrise. Maybe even each other.
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        Dec 27 2012: Kaleb,
        We all have the potential to teach AND learn with any process. So, I strongly suggest that while you are teaching "them" and putting in effort to "open people's eyes", you also open your own heart and mind to learn from "them". We often teach what we need to learn. Your idea of opening other people's eyes is a noble cause, and it suggests that you know more than they do? Are more insightful, evolved or more intelligent then they are? Everyone has something to teach us in every moment, and with the understanding of this concept, we use our full potential to teach AND learn:>)

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