The following comes from the opening paragraphs in the introduction of John Maxwell's "The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth."
Potential is one of the most wonderful words in any language. It looks forward with optimism. It is filled with hope. It promises success. It implies fulfillment. It hints at greatness. Potential is a word based on possibilities. Think about your potential as a human being and you get excited -- at least, I hope you do. What a positive thought. I believe in your potential just as much as I believe in mine. Do you have potential? Absolutely
What about unfulfilled potential? That phrase is as negative as the word potential is positive. My friend Florence Littauer, a speaker and author, wrote a story in her book Silver Boxes about her father, who always wanted to be a singer but never was. She says he died with the music still inside of him. That's an apt description of unfulfilled potential. Not reaching your potential is like dying with the music still inside of you.
I have no doubt that the answer is growth. To reach your potential you must grow. And to grow, you must be highly intentional about it.