Fulfilling Your Potential | #MyFridayStory №233

Frans Nel
3 min readMar 25, 2022
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Are you living to your full potential?

In the 1993 movie “My Life” starring Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman, a soon-to-be-father finds out he is terminally ill. The truth is, he might not live to see the birth of his son. Using a video recorder, he tries teaching his unborn son things a father normally would. He shows him everything from how to shave, and how to cook spaghetti in a small pot. There’s a great scene where he even shows his son how to enter a room with style.

There are so many things a father should take the time to teach his son. Knowing how to hold your own around a snooker table is one. Having the basics about car maintenance and upkeep is another. Not wanting to be left stranded one day herself, my daughter also asked to be taught. A father should teach his son how to treat women. He should also teach him how to be a good friend.

My Father wanted me to be a civil engineer. My Mother wanted me to be a preacher. I had no idea what I wanted to be. I do remember a few years in high school wanting to become a meteorologist. I think it had more to do with my geography teacher being a wizard, than a true calling to predict the weather. After failing to finish my studies in civil engineering, going into business, I sold everything from life insurance to red cakes, and ended up a “spin doctor”, I had no idea for most of the journey.

Over 30 years ago, I remember the swell of anxiety when I found out I’m going to be a father for the first time. Having to fend for another human being felt overwhelming. But my Brother managed to calm me down with a simple explanation. Many children are born and raised with far fewer resources than we have at our disposal. Look at the Khoesān. For thousands of years, they’ve been giving birth to babies and raising them without any problems.

From the outset, I planned to be an upfront-and-present dad. When my Son was born, I made a pact that we would be best friends. From the day he was conceived, I worked towards that goal. When my Daughter was born a few years later, the formula was already in full swing. Loving my kids with enough care for them to fulfil their potential is my greatest achievement.

I’ve experienced being a grandfather for 4 years and I’m still in a state of bliss. Nothing could have prepared me for the gift of finding a space in my heart where extra love is stored. Being a grandparent isn’t quite as you’d expect it to be. It’s more measured and calculated. Your need — and desire — to react, is more measured. You have abundant patience and your tolerance levels astound even you. So, spending time with a grandchild is never a chore for me.

When you focus on each moment you spend together, making quality moments becomes easy.

Did I fill my potential in my parents’ eyes? Until the day he passed, my Dad was my biggest fan. Regardless of what I chose to do or how it turned out, he supported me — even when I didn’t deserve it. My Mom thought I could walk on water. All she ever saw is her little boy Fransie, even in her 90s.

Our potential is locked in how we are supported and loved. So, if you’re being a blessing to those around you, you’re fulfilling your potential and theirs.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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