From “Observers” to “Influencers”

There is an unspoken phenomenon that occurs within the fertile minds of young adults – typically around the time during which they attend University. I myself have been a part of this and will be the first to admit it. The phenomenon of which I speak is the one of looking to the people whom we define as “successful” and feeling instantly inferior, incomplete, and thinking to ourselves, “I’ll get there one day”. While their accomplishments are incredibly impressive, inspiring, educational, and beneficial for us to hear, we have the tendency to become comfortable simply admiring their stories, rather than actively applying their ambition and perseverance to create our own.

I recently had a conversation with several people about the topic of “potential.” The inherent and dormant notion that we are capable of something but have not yet achieved it. As Alexios Prekas put it, “Converting Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy, requires ‘work’. If you haven’t done the ‘work’ we call it “potential.” I was fascinated by his connection to the sciences in this conversation, as it relates a very technical process to something quite intellectual and applicable to the way in which we live our lives.

I will be the first one to say that there are definitely people who have inspired me. There are absolutely people whom I read about and crave to hear speak about issues that pertain to our lives. What I’ve realized recently, however, is that it is very easy to let other people inspire you. What’s difficult is to find within yourself inspiration and power to actually become the person that these people inspire us to be.

So I call on my generation to take the inspiration we hear and apply it. I call on my generation to find within ourselves the power to become active leaders and not simply observers. We have the tools, we have the ideas, and we have the passion to become the people we want to become. But, potential is only potential until it manifests itself into true action.

Believe in the power of your dreams and passions. If you give up, there’s no way you can fulfill your potential.



10 Comments Add yours

  1. Ms. Bennett says:

    Dear ZULUECHO:

    I concur with what you report about potential, the unused kind! You hasten to persuade your readership not to allow the admiration of those who have realized theirs to interfere with getting on the road themselves. Bravo! After all, within the word itself, we note the English word “potent” whose innate quality is one of energy and life. Imagine letting potential just sit there in one’s being. If not used through human will, it can morph into restlessness and even aimlessness which can be unhealthy and downright anxiety driven. No one wants/ needs that.

    So today I will look for my potential and place a moral obligation on myself to use it. Thank you, ZULUECHO!


    1. Ms. Bennett,

      Thank you for your response! It’s fascinating that you mention this idea of unused potential turning into restlessness and aimlessness. Many people suffer from feeling lost and feeling as though their passions are not achievable simply because of this notion – when in fact, the only way to alleviate that feeling is to dive head first into whatever it is you love. Only then can you truly achieve your potential.


  2. Zachariah Reid says:

    Might I even add that there is a certain level of comfortability that abides within the parameters of our potential. The work and action that you speak of is what causes us to be able to break out of our comfort and begin to manifest our potential. This reminds me of the process of growing a seed. A seed has the potential to become so much more, but until place the work with the seed to begin the process of growth, the seed will never become what it always had the potential to be.


    1. Zachariah,

      Thanks for your response! The phenomenon of the seed is truly an incredible example. Its inherent process as simply a process of nature, not influenced by any sort of social, political, economic or other factor shows that potential is something achieved in the simple manifestation of one’s work. Fantastic!


  3. Maissa Hamed says:

    Congrats zain on a great piece liked it a lot. May Allah always aid you to achieve your full potential in your own life, inspiring others as u go.

    maissa hamed


  4. Ms. M says:

    Preach it, bud, but ease up on the adjectives. Nothin’ but love, Ms. M


  5. Lama Karim says:

    I agree with this a lot. And it’s easy to sit back and admire, but translating this admiration to action is a different stroy. That’s why only a certain few are “successful”. I love the part ” potential is only potential until it maifests itself into true action.” I always say thay saying someone has potnetial only means they have not accomplished what they’re capable of just yet. It means nothing to have potential until it translates to output.

    Excuse my philosophical mind, but I am intersted in understanding what you mean by ‘true action’ rather than just action. Did you intend for it to mean anything or is it just a explicative expression of the same thing?
    Also would you say that translation of potential to action is how you define success? Or does that action have to be acconplished in a certain way? Maybe as ‘true action’ as you suggest?

    Thank you so much for your post I really enjoyed reading it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lama! Thanks for your comment!

      You raise some really great points which I am happy to answer. “True action” in this context relates to the notion of actually fulfilling potential. One can be consciously passionate about something, however, getting lost in the idea of being passionate is just as dangerous as doing nothing. By “true action” it means making concrete decisions and steps towards fulfilling potential and achieving goals.

      I think the definition of success is something that truly has infinite meanings. What may be considered a success for me could be considered a failure for you. Success for me is the personal victory over a particular challenge or goal I set for myself. While that logic can be applied to anybody, the real definition for that feeling that we call “success” is different for everyone. You hit it on the dot, the pursuit of “true action” for me is a success.

      Thanks for your comment!


      1. Lama Karim says:

        Thank you for your reply!
        This is in line with what I was thinking. And ao

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lama Karim says:

        And about success I agree it means one too many things for each indivdual. Confining it to one defintion i find limits the possibilites, but “the pursuit of true action” is one of the most accurate ones I found! This is wonderful, I am excited for what Zuluecho will further accomplish!

        Liked by 1 person

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