Sunday, June 16, 2024

7 Principles For Reaching One’s Potential

by Dr. Bob Gray Sr.

Philippians 3:13-16, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as man as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”

Every 58 minutes someone in America becomes a millionaire. 80% of them will have a blue-collar background. 80% of them will have average intelligence. 75% of them will have average grades in school. There is an intelligence trap and a spiritual trap that stops people from reaching their potential. People stop learning. People stop being teachable. People fail to develop a second effort mentality. There is a second effort barrier that stops people from reaching their potential. The issue is not how high ones potential is, but rather are you reaching your potential.



Leaders need to decide now what God wants them to do. The people who reach their potential are intensely goal oriented in the short term not the long term. There is a difference between a man who dreams and a man who has a vision. These who reach their potential have a sense of mission. There is a vast difference between a position and a purpose. Those who live for a purpose will keep on going while those who live for a position may lose their position, but they can never lose a purpose.

Those who reach their potential have a clear picture of what they believe God wants for them. Billionaire H. L. Hunt said, “There are only two clear requirements. One is to decide what you want and two is determine the price and pay the price in advance.”

Short-term goal oriented people have two thoughts in mind: quantified and qualified. The first is numerical and the second is staying within Biblical boundaries. 75% of these people who reach their potential have written short-term goals. They have their life on paper!



Leaders must decide to be the best early in life and commit themselves to quality. Average commitment brings average market price. Work should be the play of a leader. There is no substitute for quality of work. Work ethics have been sliding in our society and within a few generations we will have an undercutting of our moral values that always follow the work ethic slide.

Leaders lead by example and exhortation. However, example gives the punch to the exhortation of the leader. Exhortation is necessary but not viable without the example of the leader. Excellence is the quality that will lead to quantity.



The leader must focus on what he or she can give and not what they can get. Consumer needs that go unmet is where failure lives. Spiritual needs that go unmet is where failure lives in God’s economy. The law of compensation of sowing and reaping brings with it good results if the proper seed is sown.

The Wal-Mart’s of the world exist because they meet the needs of the consumer. The McDonald’s of the world prosper because they meet the needs of the consumer. It is the common man they reach. May I suggest to you that real leadership is meeting the needs of the common man? Spiritually there has to be contributing centered on the need not the wants. When a ministry asks the unsaved sinner what he wants in a ministry he will always end up with carnality. However, only God knows the needs of the common man. We were made in the image of God not the other way around. God is not made in the image of man.



Until leaders are willing to accept 100% responsibility for their lives they cannot grow. The followers then become the losers. It is imperative that we remember we are totally responsible from birth to death for our lives. When leaders convince themselves they are self-employed and quit being co-dependent they can tap the depths of wisdom. Some leaders recognize it and some do not recognize the principle of responsibility from birth to death.

Those who do reach their potential act as though they own the company. The timeserver is one who will never reach let alone expand their potential. All high achievers see themselves as self-employed and indispensable.



There is a second effort barriers that must be broken at will. Multi-millionaire Dr. Russell Anderson teaches that one makes a living from 8 to 5 and a success from 5 to 8. One works for 8 hours a day to survive while everything over 8 hours is an investment in ones future.

Stress comes from working below our performance level. The second effort barriers being broken explains those in history who have given us the great inventions that we take for granted. The telephone, the computers, the satellites, the automobile, aircraft, etc., have become commonplace yet all began with second barriers being broken by the second milers of life.



In order to be efficient time managers there is a necessity of developing a bias for action, speed, dependability, accuracy, and heroes.

· Set priorities

· Concentrate on one thing at a time

· Put your life on paper

· Keep your life in balance

Time is an event not seconds, not minutes, not hours, and not days. What we throw away may be more important than what we keep. The file 13 mentality will save more time than any other concept of time management you can think of.



The ability to stick with it longer than the other man is foundational. When the president of IBM was asked his reason for his success he said, “I last one day longer than the other guy!” The doubling of a person’s failure rate was a common denominator to those who reach their potential.

Possessing a non-teachable spirit is deadly for a leader. Intellectual arrogance is a cancer to the spirit of a leader. A leader can be right so much of the time that he or she thinks they are right all of the time.

Courage in a willingness to take calculated risks exists in all who strive to reach their potential. Playing too safe will always steal ones courage. Keeping ones heart in their throat will build ones courage. In order to develop courage it is necessary to classify obstacles as opportunities and building resistance to quit.

Persistence builds character and character helps one handle success of reaching their potential. Unless the leader jumps ten feet the follower will not jump five feet.

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  1. What is our potential? Is there any such thing? How can we possibly know what our potential is?
    Should Christians be less concerned with fulfilling Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with grasping at a vague potential, than seeking to serve God, our families, society and wider world.
    We find ourselves by losing it, not by striving for unattainable potential.
    The scriptures do point to making every effort, to desiring, to putting on or off qualities.
    Why import a wobbly humanistic concept like potential?
    When I reach my so-called potential in vocation or sport, should I cease making every effort to be conformed to the image of the Son of God?
    Take every thought captive!


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