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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  • Jan 9 2013: I think this lends well to the "Can you Have it All?" type question, and in the end, it's the definition of potential that matters, and then it's the frequency of measurement that follows. I think most people have many facets to their lives, potential as a good person, a good parent, son, daughter, employee, gatherer of resources, writer, field goal kicker, trash collector. Is our potential or ceiling the same? Is it relative to starting point? Why (or do) we feel a CEO of a Fortune 500 has a more credible story of reaching their potential than say, a movie clerk attendant? I think that's training, and society, and it is what it is, and it doesn't really matter that much in the end if you're not happy with yourself. So that would train the idea of reaching your potential towards personal evaluation. Which leads back to what's important to you and how are you addressing it. Fantastically successful people, visibly successful, newspaper noted successes, at least the ones that I have known, pay a price b/c that dedication to be great, that singular drive, takes time and energy and potential in other areas are left to suffer. I know many cases of Partners in big firms who now make scads of money and can afford fantastic vacations, but the 10-15 years where they just disappeared, it matters (if it does to you). Spouse, kids, everything is in play, which is why I think potential is a moving target that changes as fast as your define it. If you are lucky enough to ponder what you want to do to reach your potential (versus needing to fight for survival), thank those that helped you there and don't forget it.

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