Potential Negligence

Written by on May 14, 2018

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Another day, another dollar.  Isn’t crazy how life just keeps going and we have to keep working just to tread water?  I suppose that’s just the way it is. You’re born, work hard, then die. If you get to have some fun in between, then that’s just bonus.  Hey, just suck it up and get back to work. One day you’ll probably kick back and reminisce about all those years you worked to keep things afloat and provide for the kids.  At least that’s why you’re working so hard now. Such is life, right?

The Dirt:  Just working to make ends meet

Really?  Do you really believe the purpose of your life is to work so that one day you can stop working and die?  That you’re just the worker bee in this great society, whose designed to give your life just to move the calendar forward?  And if you can just sacrifice for your kids (like your parents did for you by the way), that this next generation will be the one to finally change your last name forever?   If so, I’m placing you under moral arrest.

You have the right to remain poor.  Anything you think, say, or do may be used for or against you in the success of your life.  You have the right to live up to your potential. If you choose not to, you will have committed a moral crime against humanity and will be charged by life accordingly.  Do you understand your choice as I’ve explained it?

Allow me to submit that the biggest crime in the world is someone living below their potential and above their means.  If you consider that your potential is like a source of income (not just money, but any contribution) and your means as the resources you consume, then when your means exceed your potential, you are officially a taker and not a contributor.  When there are more takers than contributors in a society, many bad things can happen, including crime at every level (with a rainbow of collars), hatred, distrust, stress, and the financial and medical devastation left in the wake of the above.  


“Our conditioning as we grew up made sure we confused our ultimate potential with our family’s means, and so we give up too soon”

Potential, for our purposes, is the person you were designed to become.  It’s like who you are now, only better. This is not to say that you should change who you are, for that would no longer be you, rather your potential would be taking who you are and amplifying your strengths while mitigating your weaknesses.  Imagine you are a computer. Are you running MS-DOS or Windows X? Either one will technically work, but one stopped being effective long ago. A computer today running an operating system from 1987 can never operate at its potential. Even Angry Birds wouldn’t run on it!

Potential also requires that we understand our purpose and gift to the world.  It is that passion we have that we don’t even know from where it came, but we get that sense of joy and fulfillment simply by thinking about it.  When we get to do it, we’re in heaven. Be sure to not confuse this with your job. I’m in no way suggesting that you start loving what you do or become the foremost expert in it.  Rather, I’m suggesting to do what you love and share that passion and expertise with the world.

Your means refer to where you are today.  It is always below your potential and often confused with it.  It’s your current life situation and is meant to be temporary.  Sometimes we lose focus and get stuck permanently in the temporary.  The cruel part is that if we don’t move forward, we will surely fall backwards (see definition of temporary).  It’s how we live and what we take from life – all resources we consume.

We often use this term in the financial sense to mean spending more than you earn.  Take that concept to the life level and you’re right on track. You see, we’re happy to consume the contribution of others.  Ever listen to a great song on your iPhone while driving a car using GPS on your way to see a movie/play/opera/sporting event?  We’re surrounded by people who have brought an immense talent and gift to our lives, each one with the possibility to enrich, teach, and inspire us.  The question, then, is are we contributing in kind or are we shirking away at a job we abhor just to pay the bills and survive?

We go wrong when we confuse our means as our potential.  We hit a comfortable spot in life and figure that we’ve made it.  Of course, this is only relative to our broke and unhappy friends and family, so our reference is off the mark.  Our conditioning as we grew up made sure we confused our ultimate potential with our family’s means, and so we give up too soon.  Have you ever wondered why children tend to have the same level of success as their parents, for good or bad?


Isn’t it enough to be a good person, you may ask?  Of course it is. I would suggest no more than that.  Most of us want to be a good person. So we don’t lie, cheat, and steal.  We don’t hurt others and we try to be a good role model for our kids. Yet if we have a gift we can bring to the world, how is hiding it, not sharing it, and forsaking it being a good person?  You can literally inspire a world, yet you choose otherwise. It’s like having the cure for cancer and not letting anyone know. It’s not just rude, it’s morally and ethically wrong in every way.  A doctor would likely be sued for malpractice if they did any such thing. How exactly is this being a good person?

Remember, the court of law just sets the lowest bar possible:  Don’t be a jerk and obey the golden rule. The court of morals and ethics holds us to higher standard in that if we have the ability and it’s the right thing to do, then we must do it.  So if you’re committed to taking action on this front, here are few things to consider:

Give up your limiting beliefs

Whether it is true or not, get rid of anything in your head that doesn’t serve you.  Yes, I understand you were told many a time that you were not good enough, don’t think big else you’ll be disappointed, and to stand in line like everyone else.  I probably don’t have to tell you that if you do what everyone else does, you’ll get what everyone else gets. With most others stressed and struggling to stay afloat, is that what you want?  Remember that beliefs don’t have to be true….yet. They just have to serve you by focusing you and putting you in the right frame of mind to go after a worthwhile goal.

Give up your limiting associations

Think of our friends like crabs in a bucket.  When one crab tries to crawl out, the other crabs pull him back in.  It’s survival of the group, not success of the fittest. Consider that you will be just like the 5-6 people you hang around.  This is not a judgement on your friends and family, just the reality of the effect of your environment. By the way, if it were working, you would already be successful.  Associations also go beyond that of the people around you. What TV and radio are you listening to every day? What books are you reading? Who’s your personal mentor – someone who is where you want to be?  

Recognize you have gift

If you believe you don’t have anything to offer, it’s time to erase the lie.  You were not born with such an unserving thought nor such a low expectation. You may not know what it is, having given up on it at such an early age, but it’s there.  It’s wanting to come out and it needs you to open the door. There are many resources out there that can help you do just that. You just have to know it’s there and want to find it.

Figure out what your gift is

This is the fun part.  There are many approaches to finding your gift.  Two ways I’ll mention here are meditation and matchmaking.  Meditation in this sense is not sitting atop a Himalayan mountain searching for Nirvana.  Rather it’s just taking a time out from the go-go-go of life and listening to your heart. Relaxing outside your daily environment to allow the dust to settle and see what truly excites you.  If money were no longer an object, what would you do?

Matchmaking is more of a brute force method but it does work.  For as long as it takes, don’t say no to any opportunity. Give everything a chance.  It’s like tasting every flavor in an ice cream shop before deciding what to buy. You will eventually do something that just hits home and you know in your heart of hearts that this is what you were meant to do.

Find time for your passion, even part time

Am I suggesting that you quit your day job and current responsibilities to suddenly follow your dreams?  Well, yes, but if that’s too big of a step, what if you at least committed a small portion of your time to you and your passion?  For one, you adding an hour a day spent on something equates to about 3 years of work on it over an average lifetime. If you had three years to learn something, could you?  If you really did find your passion, it won’t be long before you make time for it, become excellent at it, and possibly monetize it to the point where you can leave your job and actually get to work.

Shoot to fail

All the above is for not if you don’t push it until it breaks.  This is often the hardest part but it’s the most crucial. How fast can your car go?  If you’re looking at your speedometer, you’re missing the point. The only way to know is to drive it with the pedal to the metal and see where it breaks.  While this would obviously be bad news for your car, we can certainly and safely do this in the important areas of life. How many times can you ask, how many calls you can make, how many ideas you can try, and yet still try more.  Until you fail at something, you’ll never know how much more you had left in the tank.


The good news is that finding and fulfilling one’s purpose to its fullest potential is the proverbial win-win situation.  It not only helps everyone who comes in contact with you, but can provide you the life of your dreams. And when you achieve You 10.0, you’ll have looked back and realized that you will have left a legacy that will make your family proud.  Other than waiting to die, what other option do you have?

“When you catch a glimpse of your potential, that’s when passion is born.”

— Zig Ziglar, author, speaker

I appreciate you for sharing time with me.  I challenge you to share this with 6 people who you feel have so much more to offer than their “burger-flipping job”.  You just might save their life and you own. I’ll be meeting you at the top, ‘cause the bottom’s much too crowded.

Josh Zepess



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