Few things have frustrated me more in my life than the word "potential". It is so awful to hear someone say, "You have so much potential." I heard it a lot from certain people in my youth, and this scene from Blue Valentine sums up my feelings pretty well. Potential for what?
I know I'm not successful. I don't need to be reminded that you think I should be. The word "potential" is vague and not helpful. Even if one were to be full of "potential", it only matters when it is kinetic. The issue is not whether one understands his potential, but whether he understands kinesis. In any case, pursuing some vague ghost ideal of "potential" is a waste. All anyone wants is security, happiness, and love. It is simply that they are as elusive as this idea of "potential".