Relatives, particularly those who will one day be ancestors, frequently confuse a descendant’s potential with their own expectations. My suspicion is they’re trying to make some of their own abandoned dreams come true by commandeering their descendent’s turn.
What is meant by the banality, “You’re not living up to your potential”? It seems that a person possessed of great potential would surely be able to recognize his or her own dreams and ambitions. If one is unaware of one’s own potential, perhaps, one is not swimming in the stuff.
Part of potential is recognizing the inverse, limitation. No one is gifted with unlimited abilities. Deep inside we know who we are. We know what we’re capable of regardless of insistent voices declaring they know better.
There is a person in my own dear family, who will one day be an ancestor- nature prevailing. The esteemed future ancestor (FA) found fault in me, every single one of my siblings, and my mother. I had a youthful ambition, later proved to be perfectly suited to me. FA was infinitely more knowledgable in my abilities than I and derisively critical of my dearest hope. It didn’t stop me. The dream was mine, meant for my own happiness.
After several decades, in a dreadful confluence of negative energy and misaligned planets, I saw FA at a business office. Like a doe in headlights, I couldn’t escape. The effusive gushing was nauseating. The deliberate misconception is that I am successful within the boundaries of convention. I am not influential or impressive. A good gushing shouldn’t be wasted on me.
As a reluctant, albeit conscientious, auxiliary parent, it is my duty to encourage dreams as an objective spectator. I hope the young people in my life will attain their dreams, that those achievements will bring them the joy that mine have brought to me. I built my life with what potential I had, allowing for my limitations. Success in my life is quantified by happiness.