BismilLah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
Al Quran, Surah Al Baqarah, verse 30, ” Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” “
When we study Surah Al Baqarah, verses 30 to 34, it is clear from these verses the immense honour that Allah subhana wa ta’ala has bestowed upon Man. Throughout Al Quran, we can find verse after verse establishing Man’s true potential and his role as khalifah of Allah.
Al Quran, Surah At-Tin, verse 4, ” We have indeed created man in the best of moulds “
Al Quran, Surah Al Hijr, verse 29, ” When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him “
Once the significance of this awareness of our true potential hits us, there’s no turning back. No longer can we continue thinking, ‘I’m not smart enough for that job.’ or ‘ I wish I had it in me to succeed.’ You ARE smart and you DO have it in you to succeed!
Try this little challenge. Take a piece of paper, write in block letters the word ‘POTENTIAL’ and then try to find as many new words as possible from just that 9-letter word. By the way, this challenge comes with a warning: Make sure you’re free for the next 2 hours (at least!) because you will be so caught up in finding the new words, you’ll soon lose track of time… At last count, the number of words from that single word ‘POTENTIAL’ is 130!
The ‘POTENTIAL’ Word Challenge clearly demonstrates the potential that is inside all of us but we don’t realise it until we actively seek it out. The best example of how potential awareness can bring about positive change in a person is the story of the girl in the photo above. During the first day of camp, she was an uncooperative and rebellious partictipant, often ignoring the facilitators and slouching in her chair.
But, after the POTENTIAL Word Challenge, when she realised she was the best scorer among the girls, a dramatic turnaround in her behavior occurred! She was active and responsive, sitting up straight in her chair AND I was told that she even joined the next camp and helped facilitate! Stories of these stunning transformations still awe me, even for someone who believes strongly in the inherent potential of each person.
It just takes one person to believe; in yourself or in someone else. Hold on to that belief, even when everyone around you thinks you’re wrong. There was a boy who enrolled in Khalifah Model School late in the year. Against everyone’s advice, I put his name forward as Head Prefect of the school and he was duly elected.
Unfortunately, he began causing trouble and even got into a fight with a girl. This became a serious issue at school and it was suggested he be stripped of his position as Head Prefect. But I fought hard to keep him on as Head Prefect because I knew he had immense potential in him to excel. And true enough, when he realised there was someone who believed in him, he started to change and he progressed, academically and spiritually. Masha’Allah, I have tears in my eyes when I think of him and the struggles he had to face.
I cannot stress enough just how important the concept of potential awareness is to further the continuing changes that the child is going through. It becomes the motivation when we feel stuck and not seeing any positive changes. We just have to remind ourselves that the potential to excel is there, we have to be patient and trust the child to chose to change for the better, even if it takes longer than we expect.
Even after all these years, believing in Adam and Daniel’s inherent potential is what keeps me going on. I know they have the potential to excel, I believe in their potential to excel, so I won’t ever give up on helping them realise and believe in their own potential to excel.
This potential awareness can also be described as self-efficacy, which is defined as belief in one’s capability to execute required courses of action, govern one’s choice of behaviours and aspirations, and the mobilisation and maintenance of effort. (Bandura, 1986, 1997) Cite: Phan, Huy Phuong(2009) ‘Relations between goals, self-efficacy, critical thinking and deep processing strategies: a path analysis’, Educational Psychology, 29: 7, 777 — 799
Being aware of your potential is one of the first steps towards a sustainable, positive change that will begin to empower your mindset, character and behavior, Insha’Allah.
To recap, brain rules # 5: Repeat to Remember
- The potential to excel is inherent in all of us
- Always believe in the potential to excel of your child
- Potential awareness is a key factor for positive change to occur
- Awareness, Change, Empower
May Allah subhana wa ta’ala give you courage and strength throughout your journey as a LifeParent and khalifah. Ameen.