Invent a Possiblity, live from that Possibility, fulfill your potential

Mr Soper helps an old lady out

Today my son came and shared a story that changed a life and which left me touched, move and inspired.  In this post I’ll share that story with you as that is what this blog is about.

At the age of 50 Mr Soper  took and old lady to hospital as she was ill.

This old lady had no other family or friends to care for her – she was all alone.

What was the relationship between Mr Soper and this old lady?  She is his godmother and was one of his mothers friends.  And she had nominated Mr Soper as the executor of her will – she had entrusted him to execute her will.

What happened in the hospital?  It turned out that this old lady was seriously ill.  Mr Soper stayed with his godmother, by her side, until she passed away.

A note that changes a life

After her death Mr Soper was rummaging around in her handbag-  to find the keys to her home so that he could do what he had been entrusted to do.  That is when he found a piece of folded paper.  He opened it up and this is what was written on it:

Never fulfilled my potential

NEVER fulfilled my potential

That note made quite an impact on Mr Soper.  He felt so sad for his godmother – she had got to her 80s and died thinking-feeling-knowing that she had never fulfilled her potential.  He wondered what it might have been like for her to live that way.  The more he thought about it, the sadder that he felt.

Then something else happened.  That note, those words, opened up an new world for Mr Soper.  More accurately, that note got Mr Soper present to something important – he did not want to die like his godmother thinking, perhaps on his deathbed, that he had never fulfilled his potential.  And looking truth in the mirror Mr Soper saw that he once had a dream which had been persuaded out of pursuing.  When he was 15 years old he loved music and wanted to be a musician.  He was persuaded out of it by people, near and dear to him, who looked at the world pragmatically and could not see how their son would survive being a musician.

What did Mr Soper do with this insight?  He got present to what fulfilling his potential meant to him.  He invented the Possibility of being a musician.  Then he got busy taking the action that goes with the Possbility he created and which inspired him.  He started playing music and developed a plan for becoming a professional musician.  Is he there yet?  No.  Is he a lot further down the road then he was 8 years ago.  Absolutely.  How does he relate to himself?  As a person who knows that matters to him, that inspire him, and he is living a life that is aligned with that.  And as such he has given his life meaning and he gets joy out of it.

What will it take for me, for you, for us to live so brightly that we light up our lives and the lives of your fellow human beings?

If we are true to ourselves then the default condition of our existence is to live and then go to our death with the following thought-feeling:

Never fulfilled my potential;

NEVER fulfilled my potential.

Yet, I, you, we can create a Possibility that touches our hearts, inspires us to be bold and moves us to act decisively upon ourselves and the world.  And thus we can live and go to our death knowing that we played full out in our lives and leave a note saying:

Played full-out to live a life that matters (to me) and my life mattered. 

Burned brightly – lit up many lives. 

Fulfilled my potential and then some!

No regrets. 

Am I up for ‘Playing BIG’?  Are you up for ‘Playing BIG’?

So that is what ‘Playing BIG’ involves.  Creating a Possibility that touches, inspires and moves us to live a life that matters.  Where we fulfill all our potential so that there really is no potential left untapped.  So that by the time the referee blows the whistle to call the end to the game called ‘our life’ we are all used up have played full-out.

The question is, am I up for playing that game?  Are you up for playing that game?  Are we up for ‘Playing BIG’?

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant working at the intersection of strategy, customer, and technology. Combine a tendency to think strategically with a penchant for getting my hands dirty at the coalface of implementation.

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