Pushing for Potential

Mike - Owings Mills, Maryland
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

When someone says “the world,” more often than not, people will think about the planet called Earth located third from the sun. Although this would serve as an accurate definition, the world can be interpreted in another sense as well. The world as much as it is a planet is also a system. The world is a set way of doing things. To say that an average person is born, starts school, goes to college and then starts a career is a typical lifestyle pattern of the world. I feel that too many of us adapt to the comfort of the world’s system and allow it to orchestrate the direction of our lives instead of striving for our full potential. I believe in acknowledging our potential over acknowledging our comfort zone.

Like anything else in life, striving for your potential starts while you’re young. I can remember my academic performance in high school. Except for excelling during my elementary years, I have been an average student for the most part. When I entered high school for the first time, I found myself getting C’s and B’s. My parents worked diligently with me to find out why I was not doing better. I knew I was trying; my parents knew I was trying, but I just couldn’t seem to yield the type of results I wanted. After a while, I began to accept that maybe I wasn’t a “smart kid.” I definitely didn’t regard myself as dumb, but I had accepted that high places such as the honor roll and dean’s list weren’t places for students of my caliber. It wasn’t until the latter part of my junior year when I made up my mind to break the mold. B’s and C’s had always been my area of complacency, but never my full potential. Not once for all 12 quarters of my high school career had I found myself on the honor roll. I went back to school senior year with a renewed way of thinking. I thank God for my stubbornness in this situation which allowed me to say that my grades would be whatever I said they would be. I discovered that I could put forth 80% effort (which is still considered trying) and receive C’s and B’s, or I could put forth 90-100% effort and get A’s and B’s. I chose the latter and remained on not only the honor roll, but 1st honors for my entire senior year. One could look at this and say “wow. You went from C’s and B’s to A’s and B’s- people do it all the time,” but it was bigger than that. I broke the mold. I chose to believe in my potential instead of my comfort zone.