8 Ways to Unlock Your Potential

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Imagine a world where Luke Skywalker didn’t become a Jedi Knight, fight galactic battles, destroy the Death Star, and defeat the Evil Empire. Instead, he retreated to his home planet, Tatooine, became a scavenger and sold pre-owned hovercrafts across the galaxy. The movie would be called “Car Wars.”

What if Daniel-son never found the courage to stand up to his bullies, ignored Miyagi, and eventually got waxed off? The movie would be renamed “The Coward Kid.” 

Or, Coaches Boone and Yost couldn’t overcome their prejudices, the high school football team remained dysfunctional, and finished last in their conference? The movie would be entitled “NO ONE Remembers the Titans.”

But these aren’t the stories we know. Young Luke was mentored by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, learned how to use his lightsaber, connect with the Force, and help overcome the Evil Empire in Star Wars. Daniel-son was mentored by Miyagi, learned to confront his fears, and defeated the bullies in the Karate Kid. And everyone Remembers the Titans because the team prevailed over prejudice, practiced hard, and won the state football championship. 

What’s one of the common threads among the stories? The characters weren’t heroes when they started, but they all had had untapped potential. What is potential? It’s someone or something that demonstrates the capacity, raw talent, and qualities to become successful or valuable in the future. They underwent a shaping, molding, transformation to realize their potential and convert it to potency. Put another way, they all went through a development process before realizing their potential. When potential is developed, it becomes potent – someone with high power, influence, and effect.

How would you like to be a hero in your story, personally or professionally? Would you like to grow stronger, have a more significant influence on your world, and make a positive impact? I bet you do. All you need to do is develop your potential. If you do, you’ll become potent. But here’s the bad news. Not everyone will listen to what I have to say about reaching their potential. It takes hard work. Yet only 25% of you will actively pursue becoming the person you were created to be. Why? You know the typical reasons: not enough time, other priorities, no resources or support. Let me ask you some questions. What if you embarked on a development journey? What if you reached your potential? What would it look like? What would it mean to you, personally and professionally? How would you and those around you benefit? What if you don’t? “Composer Gian Carlo Menotti forcefully stated, ‘Hell begins on that day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts we wasted, of all that we might have done that we did not do. Unrealized potential is a tragic waste.’” [1]

Hell begins on that day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts we wasted, of all that we might have done that we did not do. Unrealized potential is a tragic waste.

Gian Carlo Menotti, Composer

Reaching your potential is a choice. You choose to pursue fulfilling your potential by engaging in personal and professional development, or you can choose not to – waste it or unlock it.

8 Ways to Unlock Your Potential

Do you wonder why you haven’t accomplished more with your life? Do you feel that you have great potential locked up inside of you? Most adults feel this way. No one ever truly reaches their potential, but it’s discouraging that so many of us never even scratch the surface of our potential. Are you ready to find out what you can do?

Find out what you’re capable of accomplishing:

  1. Be bold. This is the number one tip for unleashing your potential in the world. Your limited achievements are likely since you’re timid. If you were out there doing your best each day, you’d be too busy piling up successes to read an article like this. Stop caring about the opinions of others and show the world what you’ve got.
  2. Have bold goals. To live up to your potential, you need goals. Goals provide a direction for your energy and effort. Effective goals are motivating, which is great if you’re going to set bold goals! Avoid overwhelming yourself. Goals should be audacious but not overwhelming. 
  3. Combine your strengths and interests. Do you care about maximizing your chess-playing potential if you don’t enjoy playing chess? You’ll have the most potential in the areas where you show natural strength and have a high level of interest. What are you good at that you also enjoy?
  4. Get expert assistance. Some of the leading experts in the world still have a coach or mentor. The right mentor can help you reach your potential faster than you can do it alone. Spend the time necessary to find a good mentor. It’s like putting your progress on the fast track.
  5. Make progress each day. A small amount of growth accumulated over time can result in fantastic improvement. Avoid overwhelming yourself by setting a schedule or goals that you can’t maintain. But, be sure to make some progress every day. The amount of progress you can make in a year would be staggering.
  6. Develop habits that help you accomplish your goals. Keeping with the same theme of making progress each day, your habits are those things you do each day—an effective set of practices all but guarantees success. Examine your goals and determine the habits that would make success likely. The most challenging job you have is creating habits. Once the proper practices are in place, there’s little else to worry about. Create an effective routine and stick with it.
  7. Determine your obstacles. There’s always something in the way. It might be a lack of time, money, or other resources. Maybe you have a spouse that demands a lot of your time. Perhaps you live in the wrong place. After all, it’s not easy to maximize your surfing skills in Kansas. Create a plan for dealing with your obstacles. What can you do to overcome them, or at least minimize them? What do you need? What do you need to stop doing? How can you alter your life to make success more likely?
  8. Expect success. If you expect failure, you’re bound to fail. Why not give yourself the benefit of the doubt and expect good things? If you have solid goals, good habits, and a smidge of discipline, there’s no reason to doubt yourself.

Making a few decisions, acting boldly, and finding a mentor are just a few of the things you can do to unlock your potential. Choose to realize your potential. Please don’t waste it. Make today the day you start living at your highest level. Become potent – grow more robust, have a more significant influence on your world, and make a positive impact. What are you waiting for?

Do you want to discover more about reaching your potential? Visit my website, prestonpoore.com, today!



[1] Excerpt From: John C. Maxwell & Jim Dornan. “Becoming a Person of Influence.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/becoming-a-person-of-influence/id607555354


Preston Poore

I'm an award-winning Fortune 500 executive with over 30 years of experience, including tenures at The Coca-Cola Company, The Hershey Company, and Ralston Purina. On top of that, I am a Numerica Corporation co-owner and board of directors member, published author, and a John Maxwell Team certified speaker, trainer, and executive coach.


My learnings and lessons are not drawn from the classroom of academic theory but from the crucible of marketplace trenches. I share my hard-earned experience with audiences to help them, their teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves.

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