We all want to live up to our full potential. No one wants to reach the end of their life only to regret having only experienced the tip of the iceberg of their full potential.

Yet, we do things every day to sabotage living up to our full potential.

Canadian economist, Larry Smith, astutely observed, the reason you will fail to have a great career is that “no matter how many times people tell you, ‘If you want a great career, you have to pursue your passion, you have to pursue your dreams, you have to pursue the greatest fascination in your life,’ you hear it again and again, and then you decide not to do it.”

Smith says, “Passion is your greatest love. Passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent.” Passion and interest are not the same things. A person can have many interests but only one or a few passions at a time.

The reason most people fail is not that they don’t know what to do, they know exactly what to do. Deep within their hearts, they hear that inner voice that urges them to go for it, but they don’t they make excuses. They know that they need to find and pursue their passion, but they do nothing about that knowledge.

Some fail by failing to uncover their passion

Smith says some will fail by not even bothering to identify their passion. They would not look at their numerous interests to find the work that is their greatest love.

Some will say that pursuing one’s passion is only for:

  • the rich,
  • geniuses,
  • special people,
  • weird people,
  • ivy league graduates,
  • college graduates,
  • men
  • women

As such, they wouldn’t even seek to uncover their passion.

But we know that’s not true. It’s also for you, and me. It’s for everyone. If you are breathing, you can live out your potential.

Others know their passion but fail to pursue it

Others fail because they find their passion but then they make up an excuse for not pursuing it.

The greatest and worst excuse to make for not pursuing your passion

I think the greatest and worst excuse for not pursuing one’s passion, as Smith noticed,  is seen when people say, “Yes, I would pursue a great career, but, I value human relationships more than accomplishment. I want to be a great friend. I want to be a great spouse. I want to be a great parent, and I will not sacrifice them on the altar of great accomplishment.”

As smith says, these people have given themselves a worldview that makes themselves heroes no matter what.

Don’t use your children and family as an excuse to not pursuing your dream. You don’t want to see your love ones as the reason you failed to live up to your full potential. You don’t want your kid suffocating under the thought that, “if it weren’t for me, my dad would have lived up to his potential.” You don’t want them responsible for your lack of courage.

The real reason we don’t pursue our passion is fear. And someone has said, FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Find the work that is your greatest love and pursue it. You will be an example to your kids to pursue their dreams as well. You can be a great father, husband, son or daughter, and still pursue your dream.

I think using one’s love ones as an excuse for not pursuing one’s dreams is a terrible injustice. I think it is using our loved ones to shield ourselves and our minds from the internal and external pressure that has been built into all humans to push us towards living up to our full potential. When we do this, we have so yielded to fear and have become controlled by it to the point that no excuse is too much to use, including that of using our loved ones as our shields, as one would if bullets were being shot at himself.

If you want, you may purchase Lary Smith’s book on amazon.