Dr. Ernest Dale, New York educator and business counselor, told a convention how an old man in a village once handled a group of young men who were jealous of his wisdom and decided to trap him. The youths planned to show him a bird and ask the old man whether it was dead or alive. If he said it was dead, they would let it fly. If he said it was alive, they would wring its neck to prove the old man wrong. They approached him and asked:

“Old man, is the bird dead or alive?”

“Young man,” he said after a long pause, “it is in your hands.”

And so it is with excellence. Very often we believe that the expression of our best potential is found through other people or our coaches. We wait for someone to approve or teach us what we have. But the truth is that your the result of your potential has always been up to you…it rests in your hands.

Sometimes we stifle our potential because we want to spite the person we work for or work with, but that only hurts us in the long run. Holding back our greatness purposefully to spite a leader or teammate is like driving a nail in a post then pulling it out with hopes that the hole will not be there. What I’m saying is that our holding back greatness leaves a permanent mark in our minds.

What we’ve successfully done is teach our minds that it doesn’t have to give its best if we feel a certain way; instead of teaching it that when a situation asks for your talent, out of necessity for our mental health it must respond in fullness. But even to do that, you must understand that the choice will always rest in your hands. Choose to fly.

Let me ask you a question:

“Hey you, is your potential dead or alive?”

You know the answer to that. #PushForward #JOC

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