Fulfilling The Potential

I was listening to the Nerdist podcast yesterday (How many of my entries start like that? What can I say? He interviews some great people.) and he was interviewing Ron Howard and he was discussing his creed and work ethics and he discussed the idea of “fulfilling the potential” of any given project and IT BLEW MY MIND.

I’ve spent the last day really thinking about this idea. Whether it’s a work task or a moment with the kids…I’m trying to think about what the potential is in that moment. It was hard yesterday because I was functioning on 4 hours sleep, but I did try to think about it when I wasn’t fuzzy from sleep deprivation.

I had about an hour of time yesterday between work and soccer and I was really having trouble with a lack of sleep and I thought to myself, “How do I fulfill the potential of this hour?”

And I took a nap.

Because the truth was, I was useless and foggy and unable to really focus on anything important because I was SO TIRED. So, while “potential” could be defined by accomplishments or tasks completed, I chose to interpret it as: BEST USE OF TIME IN THIS MOMENT. And that moment? Was a nap. AND IT WAS GREAT.

There’s a lot going around now about how we tend to use “busy” and “exhaustion” as badges of honor or even signs of success. The first article I read about this hit me SO HARD because I am SO BAD about that. So yesterday, in that moment? I decided the badge of honor was to be rested. Not to brag about minimal sleep like it made me somehow better. No. I took a nap on a Thursday evening. AND I AM PROUD OF THAT NAP.

I fulfilled the shit out of the potential of that nap.

I really like the idea of figuring out the true potential of something and trying to maximize that potential. But there are a lot of different kinds of potential.

Wesley woke up with leg cramps last night. He doesn’t wake up as often but I got up, gave him a bath and some ibuprofen and then crawled back in bed with him rub his foot to get him back to sleep. I thought about the potential of those moments and I tried to give him more love and affection instead of groggy irritation that usually rolls out of me in those moments. Groggy irritation just makes him feel guilty, but love and affection helps him fall back asleep without the burden of guilt in his heart.

I’m going to be thinking about this one for awhile. It’s such a simple concept, but I feel like it can shape moments…and days and weeks and years…in a much more deliberate fashion. Which is something I’m really trying to be: More deliberate.

Thank you Ron Howard. For this and for the movie: Splash. It’s still my fave.

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4 Comments

  • Tori

    This post made me smile. What a great reminder to live in the moment to get the most out of that moment. Even if that means napping. 🙂

  • Susan

    I like that thought, and I think you’ve inspired me now. I’m going to go to my office and fulfill some stuff!

  • Super Sarah

    I love this concept…. I had always thought of fulfilling potential in the bigger picture way, you know, achieving great things, becoming the person you should be etc. But looking at fulfilling the potential, just in that moment, in each moment, that’s a completely different idea and could be life changing. Thanks for sharing. I am off to find that Nerdist podcast, I love them!