On those occasions when I have exceeded expectations with my golf score, I amuse my friends with the comment: “My mother always said I had potential.”
Over the past twelve months, the TransForm team has volunteered their expertise to a not-for-profit organization called The BrandLab. In its own words: “This is a bold experiment that mixes the brightest minds in the marketing industry with students from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. It’s a way to inspire a new generation of thinkers so that their voices can be heard in the creative world.”
It is suffice to say that as we have worked with these students, we are unsure of who was inspired most as their creativity and commitment to their dreams and goals demonstrate how, when given opportunity and the tools to succeed, young people are exploding with potential.
As we who live in the United States celebrate July 4th, Independence Day, it is worthwhile to reflect on what it means to be truly free. For the students participating in The BrandLab, it meant the freedom to explore their potential unencumbered by limitations either self-imposed or imposed by others. Freedom also meant transcending the circumstances in which they were born to create a vision of what they wanted to experience and have their lives look like.
Let this, however, be a challenge to all of us. How are our individual voices being heard in the world? Are our thoughts for what our lives could be like held captive by the tyranny of reason, or are they free, original and expansive? How are we showing up every day in both our professional and personal lives? Are we fully engaged in the process of living or just pumping blood?
No matter our age, each of us is pure potential. But we can now expand upon our natural gifts and talents through leveraging our experience and wisdom. However, like the students, our potential will only be realized when we establish a vision for our lives. This is not pollyanish, self-deception, it is a bold declaration as to who is in charge.
A new vision means we are freeing ourselves from the limitations of the past; we are giving permission to dream once again of what could be and to believe those dreams can come true.
As Mark Twain said: “Let us endeavor so to live that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry.”