Time to Grow and Change – Part Four

If you want to expand your potential and therefore your capacity, you must first change your thinking. However, if you change only your thinking and you neglect to change your actions, you will fall short of your potential. To start expanding your capacity, take the following three steps:

1> Stop doing only those things you have done before and start doing those things you could and should do

The first step toward success and fulfilling your God-given destiny is become good at what you  know how to do. But the more that you do what you know, the more you discover additional worthy things you could do. When this occurs, you have a decision to make. Will you continue doing what you have always done, or will you make the leap and try new things? 

Doing new things leads to innovation and new discoveries, and among those discoveries is the realization of things you should do on a consistent basis. If you do those, you will continue to grow and expand your potential. If you don’t, you will plateau. 

In the book “Aspire” the writer recalls a discussion that he had with one of his mentors. The mentor was describing the growth of a tradesman from apprentice to master. He recalls the conversation:

A master doesn’t become a master overnight, he explained. There was a process. First, one must become an apprentice, then a journeyman, and finally a master.

Apprentice. Journeyman. Master. These three words illustrate the importance of going through fundamental and necessary steps to acquire the kind of humility that is commensurate with true leadership,

The mentor then shared: “Do you know that ‘apprentice’ means ‘learner?’ The word comes from the French ‘appendre,’ which means to learn.

In earlier times, apprentice was the name for someone who would select a trade, then find a master in his village to teach him the skills necessary for his chosen vocation. After learning all he could from the local master, the apprentice would then travel elsewhere to broaden his education. Launching forward on such a journey turned an apprentice into a journeyman. A journeyman would often travel long distances for the privilege of working under the master who could best help him further hone his craft. Over time, a journeyman could eventually become a master himself – and be in a position to start the cycle all over again.”

The price of expanding one’s potential is ongoing. It ebbs and flows. Opportunities come and go. The standards we must set for ourselves are constantly changing. What we could do changes as we develop. What we should do also evokes. We must leave behind some old things to take on new things. It can be difficult work, but if we are willing, our lives are changed. 

Often you will feel ‘in over your head.’ You will, at times, have a steep learning curve. Most days you might feel like Pablo Picasso when he said, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order to learn how to do it.”

The process of adaption and expansion, once started, will continue for a lifetime. So, you never want to stop learning. You want to keep enlarging yourself, expanding your potential, improving on what you already do well; never stopping until you depart this world in death. 

Norman Vincent Peale, a pastor and author, said, “Ask the God who made you to keep remaking you.”

More next time…