“There’s no greater burden than a great potential!”
At least that is what Linus famously said after his parents, his teachers and the principal of the school were upset with him and disappointed in him when he didn’t make the honour roll. They all said the same thing: they are “disappointed because [he] has so much potential”.
Is potential a burden? Do you feel that way?
The world’s your oyster, shoot for the moon and you’ll land among the stars and you can do anything that you set your mind to. While these are all positive messages of hope and self-esteem, and they have the best of intentions in mind, they put a bit of pressure on a person.
What if you don’t make it? What if there is something that you were working towards really hard but you missed the mark? What will people think?
Maybe Linus was right.
Either way, here you are, reading this reflectorial. You are wherever you are in life. But, you have the potential to do anything else. That’s still true, as cliché as it sounds, you still can do anything you set your mind to — but it doesn’t mean that it has to be a burden.
Instead, it should come as a relief. It means that you can do it because anyone can. Since anyone can do anything, it means that you can anything as well. It really isn’t to say that people are not unique in their own way, but that you can be whoever you want to be because you have the potential to do so.
Is your potential crushing you because of the pressure? Well, it’s not actually your potential. That’s the pressure other people are putting on you — maybe it’s the pressure you are putting on yourself.
Maybe you didn’t go for the version of yourself that you really want to be and instead you are reading this as the person that you chose to be because you thought that was the way you aught to be.
The irony in what Linus said is that his potential isn’t the burden, it’s actually what makes everything okay. You can depend on yourself. You’ll make it. It’s other people’s perceptions that is the burden. But don’t mind them, they always like to ramble on about other people.
You do you.
— The Reflector Staff