Fulfilling your potential

Recently I have begun a personal journey of discovery. It wasn’t my intention to do so. It wasn’t my desire to do so either. But I am on the journey and what I am learning is fascinating one minute and terrifying the next. This week I learned I had a secret.

In the way of a biblical conversion I had my blinding light moment. Not on the road to Damascus but more prosaically in St. Louis in the bath tub on a Monday morning. But this is getting to the end of the story and the beginning is so interesting.

When I began this journey I was told to put my “faith in the universe and the things I needed would be provided” for me when I needed them. Well! I had such an issue with almost every word of this. Faith denies science and I am a scientist. Universe as supreme power just is never going to fly. And the biggy, predestination of events that are for my benefit: ridiculous.

So I have been doing my usual maximize-your-time routine and listing to books-on-tape while walking through airports and watching TED.org-podcasts while flying. I am listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and I recently watched Cameron Herold on Entrepreneurship. In the days leading up to this I had been thinking about my childhood and the infamous “Thorne Experiment” where educationalist tried out different techniques on students for selecting their academic path. I lived in Thorne when this occured.

I was also reflecting on my career and I realized that I had achieved great success despite never asking for a pay rise or a promotion in more than 30 years of a working life.

Then it hit me. I had not chosen my career, in some ways it had chosen me. I had never driven towards a goal but had made others success in theirs. It finally dawned on me that I had better work out what I wanted to do to make my three-score-and-ten something memorable.

Now this was quite the revelation for a Monday morning in the bath tub in St. Louis. But there was more to come.

Moments later I realized that the interest I had shown lately in some projects some friends are working on and that they have invited me to help with all have something in common.

First there is BizzCampBelfast where I have been invited to speak and for whom I am now blogging weekly. Then there is a special school for gifted kids and finally a for-profit young entrepreneur incubator all of which I am very excited to be working on.

And they all have in common … opportunities for young people, and especially young entrepreneurs, to maximize their talents. To sieze their days.

I realized that the mission I have been brought to is to help young people realize all of their potential. I had come to the understanding that my career didn’t choose itself, that the opportunities that lay before me are there for a reason and that this point in my life is when I can achieve the greatest influence on those young people.

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