Daring to Maximize Our Potential

© 2000 Michele Toomey, PhD


August 17, 2000

There is a presumptuousness in daring to maximize our potential. We have to reveal to ourselves that we believe we can extend ourselves to our limits and won't be confined by them. For women this is often more dificult than for men. We tend to be more constrained by the female stereotype. Men have to beware they aren't bigger in their minds than they actually are, and then they can feel like failures when they don't measure up to what they think is their potential.

For a woman to have brain damage and dare to maximize her potential, she has to have great integrity and tremendous drive. You, Marlene, have both, so we have every reason to believe that you can and will maximize your potential.

What does that actually mean? It means using the vision that integrity provides to come to terms with where your potential lies, what its limitations are, what your expectations and dreams are, and if it seems possible to achieve them. Where the truth and fairness of this search takes you is where you set your sights, and the rest is designing a path, plan and paying the price it exacts. Along the way, there is a continual assesment of progress, price and desire. Integrity demands all three line up and provide the red or green light on whether to proceed or change course, but always the integrity of the evaluation process will keep the venture true. Potential is maximized in this evolutionary journey as a natural outgrowth of it. There is no doubt if integrity is the compass and the guiding principal.

There can be no pretense or fantasy on this journey, only honesty and dreams and goals that, in and of themselves, are ours to hold, to have and to achieve.

Brain damage complicates this journey but is also speaks loudly to any pretense. Integrity is polished by the presence of brain damage. You have every reason to believe your potential will be realized in a much more essentially pure way because of the encephalitis. You just need to frame clearly what you want from your potential and then integrate it into your very being. It's not an outward process, it's an inward one that will yield external results.

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