Understanding Your Potential — Dr Myles Munroe [Book Summary]
Understanding Your Potential by Dr Myles Munroe goes in-depth to make us see the need to know who we are, where we stem from, our abilities, our potential, our life’s purpose, the invisible possibilities that are attainable, and the need to find the courage and discipline to follow through on the path of destiny fulfilment and potential utilization.
Chapter One — Everything in Life Has Potential
Dr Munroe starts by making us understand what potential is. He brings to light that potential is not that which we have already accomplished, but latent abilities which we are yet to discover and utilize. He also makes us understand that success is the greatest enemy to potential, as we get tempted to settle on our current ability though potential does not have a retirement plan. He explains the possibilities a single seed can birth — a forest — and states that everything has and begins as a potential. He then tried to paint a picture of what history would have looked like if men like Apostle Paul, Jesus Christ, Abraham, Da Vinci, and Shakespeare had died before they could release their latent abilities and fulfil their purpose. He concludes this chapter by stating expressly that we must not die with our potential.
Chapter Two — The Source of All Potential
Dr Munroe in this chapter elucidates the truth that all potential finds its source from God. He speaks of God’s omnipotence; God being full of power and His ability to create. He speaks of God’s creation and how all things that have been created and will later be created are within God. With these, he explains that things that are available and would later be available are invisible, not inexistent, but could be made visible by the potential process of working on the ideas given by our source, God.
Chapter Three — Who Are You?
Dr Munroe states that “who you are is related to where you came from.” He buttresses that we are sourced out from God, being made in His image and likeness. He tells us we are not junk regardless of what others may think, but we are much more, and he urges us to look to the creator and not the creation for an understanding of who we are.
Chapter Four — What Happened to the Real You?
Dr Munroe narrates how the devil deceived man in the garden of Eden and stole his potential, and how Jesus came to connect us back to our potential. He makes us understand that when we sin, we allow the devil to clog our potential, but when we are in Christ, our potential is unclogged. He tells us that Satan works to destroy our intelligence of our real self, but Christ enables us to understand who we are.
Chapter Five — Whose Wisdom?
Dr Munroe starts this chapter by bringing to our understanding the need for coming to terms with purpose. He says, “If we want to know the real potential of something, we first have to know what that thing was created to do;” he establishes the need to understand the purpose of everything and the condition they are to exist. He then goes on to compare the wisdom of God and that of men, and he tells that though the wisdom of God is sometimes seen as foolish, it is the wisdom of man that is. He says, “God considers foolishness any wisdom that does not fulfil its original purpose.” He goes in-depth to tell us of the need to accept Jesus as our saviour and be filled with the Holy Spirit to know who we are, for it is the Holy Spirit that gives us access to God’s secret wisdom of who we are, which we need to live fulfilled lives.
Chapter Six — Why Were You Born?
Dr Monroe brings to our understanding that no one is a mistake, even if their parents call them such. He tells us that even though one’s parents may have not wanted them, every child is God’s intention, even when such a child does not come the way He initially intended. He proclaims to us God’s plans for each of us, and a possibility for a rewrite even when we mess up, by the acceptance of Christ; that is, being born again in Christ.
He reveals to us that we are born to glorify God. He concludes by illustrating the process of idea conception, formulation, and implementation towards accomplishment, world change, and the revelation of God’s glory.
Chapter 7 — What Can You Do?
Dr Monroe brings to our understanding that what we can do is limitless unless we stop ourselves by professing that we can’t do it. He tells us that all we conceive is possible for us to do, and God has given us the ability to carry out every responsibility he has infused in us. He further buttresses that the potential we possess is endless; that is, we cannot exhaust it, for God has loaded us with potential that will last eternity.
Chapter 8 — Challenge Your Ability
Dr Munroe urges us to place a demand on ourselves, to challenge our talents, to try out things that bring the possibilities of failure; stating that unless we try new things, we would never know the wealth that lives within us. He states that there are no shortcuts to developing our talents; our potential has to be utilized for it to be productive. He warns about being afraid to try, and ends this chapter with the statement, “It is better to attempt a thing and fail, than to never try and not know you could succeed.” This is my favourite chapter.
Chapter 9 — The Key to Your Potential
Dr Munroe brings to light that we can only fully utilize our potential when we are hooked or connected to our Source, from whom we stem from. He speaks of God’s continuous work in us to ensure all that is limiting our potential is pruned away, and he makes us understand that we limit our potential when we go against the will of God.
Chapter Ten — Limiting Your Unlimited Potential
Dr Munroe starts this chapter by telling us the positive effect of being aware of our abilities and potential. He reminds us that God is our source, and he tells us that our potential is determined by the demand and purpose placed on us by our Source, our Creator.
He uses a principle he calls the process principle to make us understand our dependence on God for full utilization of our potential. He says, “A man without a relationship with God (his Source) has limited his potential. He can never attain what he is capable of.”
Dr Munroe makes us understand that man is triune in nature; that is, he comprises of the body, soul (mind, will, and emotions), and spirit. He says, “Man is a spirit, lives in a body, and possesses a soul.” He explains these component parts and makes us know that it is our spirit that is the true measure of our potential, not our soul or body; thus, we should not allow any physical impediment to limit our potential.
Chapter Eleven — Keys to Fulfilling Your True Potential
In this chapter, Dr Munroe tells us nine things about our potential, which are;
1. You have the potential to be in God’s class (that is, He made us spirits just as He is)
2. You have the potential to operate like God (for He created us to function like Him by faith)
3. God sees in you the potential to dominate, rule and subdue the whole earth (not the other way round)
4. You have the ability to be fruitful and reproduce after your kind (for He has built in us the ability)
5. You have the ability to imagine and plan to do anything (so long we believe and persevere)
6. You have the potential to believe impossibilities into possibilities (so long we are willing to sacrifice for that idea)
7. You have the potential to influence physical and spiritual matter (for He has empowered us as stated in Matthew 16:19)
8. You have the potential to receive whatever you ask (so long you abide in Christ and His word abides in you)
9. You have the potential to do greater works than Jesus did (for He has bestowed on us the ability)
He tells us that we are in God’s class because He created us in His image; that is, He made us spirits just as He is. He says we operate like God through the power of faith and when God created us in His image, His focus was to make us function like Him. He tells us that we are to dominate the earth and not the other way round, and he makes us understand that we can plan and do what we plan so long we are willing to persevere.
He tells us to say YES to Jesus, for that is the only way we can access and utilize our full potential. He gives us ten keys to releasing our potential, which are;
1. You must know (be related to) your Source (God)
2. You must understand how the product was designed to function (through faith and love)
3. You must know your purpose
4. You must understand your resources (which are the thing we are created to live on and live with, but never live for (idolatry))
5. You must have the right environment (the presence of God)
6. You must work out your potential (else, it would be unutilized and made useless)
7. You must cultivate your potential (through personal development)
8. You must guard your potential (by staying away from sin, distractions, compromise, etc.)
9. You must share your potential (for no potential exists for itself and its fulfilment is in it benefiting others)
10. You must know and understand the laws of limitation (by understanding the limit to the freedom we can exercise our potential power)
Chapter Twelve — Dare to Believe in Your Potential
In this final chapter, Dr Munroe made us understand that Christ came to die for us so that our full potential could be released. He made us understand that the fullness of our potential is beyond our need for shelter, food, and clothing, but belief in that which is yet to exist (that is, the utilization of one’s potential to bring to existence what the world is yet to behold). He makes us see the need to know who we are, dispel worry, and seek the kingdom of God first. He makes us understand the meaning of desire and how it keeps us consistent on the journey of potential utilization. He sadly notes that only a few would fulfil their potential, and he beckons on us to be part of the few. He ends this chapter and book with these words; “Whatever God calls for, He provides for.”
We are a sum total of what we have learned from all who have taught us, both great and small.
“Success is not a comparison of what we have done with what others
have done. It is simply coming up to the level of our best, making the
most of our abilities and possibilities” (Jerry Horner).
Never let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life that never realized its full potential.
Never accept success as a lifestyle — it is but a phase. Never accept an accomplishment as the end — it is but a mark in the process.
Failure is not the absence of success. Failure is the neglect of trying.
What you have done is no longer your potential. Potential is what you can do but have not yet done.
God can bring beauty out of your mistakes. He can take what you have messed up and bless it up. He can take the thing that seemed impossible to you and form it into something beautiful.
Sin clogs our potential. It messes up the plan God has for each of our lives
The more we know about who we are, the more our attitude toward ourselves changes.
Things don’t become reality because we have an idea. We have to believe in the idea. We have to believe we can do it by committing ourselves to it — abandoning ourselves to it — even if it costs us our lives
Whenever God gives you a responsibility, He also gives you the ability to meet that responsibility.
Thinking doesn’t get it done. Thinking implies you can do it. See yourself doing the thing in your thoughts. Make your thought into an idea, and your idea into an imagination. Take that imagination and document it into a plan. Then go to it (of course with the proper rest periods). Put your plan into action. If you thought it, you can do it.
The people who are blessings to humanity are usually men and women who decide there is more to them than what other people have said. People who bless the world are people who believe there is an ability inside them to accomplish something that has never been done.
There are no shortcuts to developing your potential.
Potential must be exercised to be fulfilled. Demands must be made on potential if it is to be released and fulfilled.
The greatest works in the world will be done by people who don’t care who gets the credit. I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be faithful. I don’t want to be well-known, I want to be well-used. I don’t want to be powerful, I want to be potent. Unless you venture to try things you’ve never done before, you’ll never experience the wealth that lives within you.
A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to the grave, obscure men, whom fear and timidity have prevented from making their first attempt to do something.
Prune your life through discipline and obedience to God.
God did not begin when the beginning began — He began the beginning. He did not start when start got started — He started start.
The purpose [of a thing] establishes the demands to be placed on the product, and the demands determine its potential.
It is essential … that we do not judge our true potential by the abilities or limitations of our physical bodies.
The potential to do and plan anything is in you if you will believe and persevere.
If He [God] gives you an assignment, He’s already given you the ability to fulfill what He asks.
No matter how big the dream God gave you, your potential is equal to the assignment.
Ability is useless until it is given responsibility.
Good ideas do not bring success. Good hard work does.
It is more comfortable to think about all we might do instead of working to achieve what we can do. People who change the world are people who stop dreaming and wake up. They don’t just wish, they act.
The summit of God’s desires for your life is that you will show through your being who He is.
If man is to realize and maximize his true potential, a relationship with God is not an option.
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