What Is Potential? (A2)

If an organisation is a vehicle to maximize your potential, let us first understand what potential is. Potential is a force, a force that can do some work, create something, move something. Potential has two components — it has magnitude, and it has a direction. Potential is a vector quantity. So it is not just about how much potential or force you possess, but also in what direction is that potential, that force, applied. The direction is also important. Let us examine these two in detail — magnitude and direction.

So what is potential with a high magnitude? If your potential has a high magnitude, you have great depth to your thought process. So whatever you do, you develop deep insights about that work or the problem you are trying to solve. A high magnitude of potential also means you have perspectives that are unique to you, to your thought process. It is because you combine all your existing knowledge in a certain manner to create a new compound that only you could have created — it is like creating your own special theory of relativity about your work or the problem that you are trying to solve. And this could be done in absolutely anything that you do, no matter how routine or mundane it might be. If you apply depth to your thought process, new insights are bound to surface. So potential with a high magnitude has the depth of thought and can create new insights. You must have potential with a high magnitude.

But in addition to its magnitude, the potential also has a direction, and the direction could be right or wrong. It is this direction that determines your peace of mind. If the direction of your potential is wrong, it is unlikely that you would be peaceful. Financially successful, perhaps. Famous, perhaps. Peaceful, unlikely. So potential with a high magnitude but applied in a wrong direction will be catastrophic. An organisation is a vehicle to maximize your potential. Maximizing your potential means maximizing its magnitude and applying that magnitude in the right direction.

Alright. So we have seen so far that one, an organisation is a vehicle to maximize your potential and your peace of mind. And two, potential has a magnitude, which is the depth of thought, and a direction, which is right or wrong. But how do you maximize your potential and your peace of mind? To do that, you need a systematic framework that you can refer to from time to time to check if you are on the right track — am I increasing my depth of thought, am I generating new insights, am I doing all of this for the right purpose, am I moving in the right direction. Because if your thinking is muddled, you may make decisions that are not necessarily right for you, but because you see others make similar decisions. You may do things not because they resonate well with you, but because that is the current trend, or because you wish to gain quick success or fame.

You need a framework, a set of personal guidelines that determine your thoughts and actions. And you need a tool — Contemplation. Long periods of Contemplation on such personal guidelines help you think clearly. If you can think clearly, you make the right decisions. If you make the right decisions, you feel more peaceful.