Potential Like a Seed
CHILDREN’S POTENTIAL IS LIKE A SEED WAITING TO GERMINATE
What is potential?
I’m holding a baobab seed in my hand. It’s a small dark brown kidney-shaped seed. Then I begin to imagine the tree it would make if I planted it in the ground. How can such a small seed give such a huge, strong, majestic tree? My mind goes to Madagascar and sees again the famous avenue of the baobabs, these thousand-year-old trees 40 meters high and more than 12 meters in diameter. No wonder that in Malagasy, the tree is called Reniala or The Mother of the forest given its corpulence. And to think that it all started from a small seed! However, I’m not sure that the seed I have in my hands would germinate in my Swiss garden, because the baobab tree only grows in regions with an arid climate.
Potential is like a seed. The seed contains the tree, but we don’t see it. If we look at the definition of the word “potential”, it means: the strengths, the resources we have, the capacity. And if we take the adjective, potential means: that exists in power, virtual, possible. Thus, everything is possible in the seed. As André Stern says: “Every child is born as a bomb of potential! “He notes that all humans are born equipped with a device that allows them to become everything, to learn everything and to adapt. As soon as his/her brain reaches a certain stage, the young child can learn 5-6 languages at the same time, be at the same time Batman, fireman, pilot or schoolteacher, singer and veterinarian. For children, there are no limits. Anything is possible. However, the germination of a seed depends on certain conditions.
How to develop potential?
A seed can also remain a seed for thousands of years if it is not planted in the right soil, according to specific conditions of temperature, humidity, light and so many other things combined. Potential can also remain latent for a long time if it is not brought to light, developed and used under the right conditions. However, the latent seed is alive. Every acorn that falls to the ground is just as alive as the three times century-old oak tree above it. The potential is alive as well, even if it is not yet revealed. Both are waiting for an opportunity to hatch.
Not all seeds planted become plants. Some rot in the soil, some get eaten by animals, some simply do not germinate. So what does it take to make a seed germinate? The common answer would be that it takes nutrient-rich soil, water, sunshine and attention.
“In the right place and under the right conditions, you can finally deploy to become what you are meant to be” Hope Jahren.
At the moment of germination, the embryo gathered on itself only unfolds. This requires a certain amount of work, effort and continuous growth. From the germination of a seed to the tree, this transformation requires an enormous amount of energy and the plant goes through stages where it really has to draw on its resources to survive and grow.
Like a seed, does the potential also need certain conditions to hatch and flourish? Do only children who grow up in a positive, nurturing, loving, peaceful environment have the chance to develop their potential? But doesn’t my baobab seed grow in arid soil? And haven’t all those children who have been victims of violence or who have grown up in difficult circumstances, such as Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank or William Kamkwamba, achieved great things thanks to their capacity and inner strength? It seems that the conditions for realizing one’s potential vary from child to child. Some will live in very difficult conditions to feel this strength within them, to become aware of their resources, and it is in resilience that they will develop but always with someone who believes in them on their side. For others, it is in a peaceful and loving environment that they will be able to connect with themselves and realize the power of their inner world. Thus, life has tested us on different but necessary grounds for our evolution and the realization of our potential.
What are the conditions for realizing the potential?
Although circumstances may vary, there are two things essential for potential to develop: connection and enthusiasm. Indeed, children who do not connect to themselves, to their inner joy and who do not trust themselves will have difficulty in realising their potential. They also need to be supported by an adult who connects with them at a deeper level. For a child, the best way to learn and grow is through play. A child who has fun, learns much more than a child who feels forced to learn something that does not interest him. It has also been shown that the brain develops where it is used enthusiastically.
“Enthusiasm is the only infinite resource on Earth. Every time we use it, it grows.” – André Stern.
However, realizing one’s potential does not mean that the path becomes smooth and easy, on the contrary, a strong will, perseverance and continuous efforts are needed to achieve one’s goal. Awareness must develop in parallel in order to make the right choices at the right time. Realizing one’s potential therefore requires hard work, a lot of repetition and daily discipline to achieve excellence. Musical virtuosos, great sportsmen and women, writers, put all their energy into their passion and work long and hard to continue to progress.
What potential can children develop?
Today we hear a lot about high-potential children, children who have been diagnosed with a higher than average IQ. These children show great abilities in the logical-mathematical and linguistic domains, which are indeed the domains measured in the psychological assessment. And what about all the other children? Don’t they also have high potential in a different domain than those measured in the high potentials?
Let us recall that there are 8 intelligences, defined by Howard Gardner (Psychologist and Professor of Neurology in the 80s): musical intelligence, verbal and linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, visuo-spatial intelligence, naturalist intelligence, inter-personal intelligence, intra-personal intelligence.
Howard Gardner opened the door to show we’re all smart for something. Traditional schools tend to value only logical-mathematical intelligence (which consists of reasoning well, calculating well, and being logical) and verbal and linguistic intelligence (which consists of speaking well, reading well, and writing well). Everything else is generally secondary.
We could indeed add more: digital intelligence, aesthetic intelligence, olfactory intelligence, gustatory intelligence, existential intelligence, intuitive intelligence.
We have so many abilities. Our brain has immense potential. The problem is that a child is not aware of it and school only focuses on two or three of these intelligences. If the child uses the “school” intelligences with little enthusiasm and does not find opportunities to use the intelligences for which he has potential, the seed will not germinate. To be aware of this, children need someone who helps them know themselves, identify their strengths and talents, encourages them to reveal their full potential. In general, children have very clear interests and it is enough to follow their enthusiasm to understand which intelligences they have chosen to invest in. To do this, it is important to listen to them and respect them.
Kids life coaching has been developed to enable children from the age of 6 years to become aware of this potential within them, to develop it to its fullest with joy and confidence. Through a playful, holistic and solution-oriented approach, children learn to strengthen their self-confidence and resilience, achieve their goals while developing their emotional intelligence. The results at the end of the Zeal for Life® Coaching Program are fascinating! Children are now aware of their potential and have the keys to access it at any time. A treasure that will accompany them throughout their lives.
 His biography inspired the film “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”.
Certified Kids Life Coach
Seeds of Joy Kids Life Studio®