Learning to the highest potential | Day 172 of my 2023 Journal


🇩🇰 Also available in Danish 🇩🇰

There is a concept I stumble upon often in the circles of home education, alternative lifestyle, self-directed life, and unschooling.

It is the idea of the highest potential. I find this concept find utterly distasteful.

You see, the idea of meeting your highest potential is extremely ambitious. And there are two major problems involved, plus a bonus one.

One is the idea that I myself want for ME to unfold my highest potential. This is a toxic idea that will lead to perfectionism, stress, and a non-present life running fast to achieve rather than be.

I, personally, could have had a sparkling career as a psychologist, I could have been enormously much better at playing my handpan, I could have learned ten languages fluently by now, I could have read all of the classics, I could have been 10 kilos smaller and a hundred percent stronger, I could have learned drawing skills and dancing skills and math and the history of everything - and that might not even BE my highest potential. But it would for sure be the end of me, the end of a wholehearted life in flow, full of intuition and love and spontaneity.

And that is bad enough.

But worse, much worse, is to impose this ambition on OTHERS, which is exactly what is going on with the alternative discourse. Adults want to set the scene for their (or others’) children to learn to their highest potential.

I simply hate the idea.

It is parental love, wanting to do THE BEST for the kids (which I understand) but, in the process, actually ruining it all by having such extreme expectations like good old stories where the hero, in his attempt to avoid his destiny, creates the disaster forecasted in the myth. It is also a derivate of a general problem I have talked about many times before The problem of choosing what we want among the hundreds of options. And it is very much a part of the consumeristic lifestyle, where the focus is on achieving, not on being.

You see, we have to choose what to do with our time. Consciously or not, we are closing a lot of doors all of the time, at least for the time being. If I chose to rest in Sweden, I chose at the same time NOT to practice on my instrument 2 hours a day. Now I have the time, and every time I choose to listen to a podcast in one of the two languages I speak fluently; I am turning down a learning opportunity in the five I speak so and so. When I chose to study the language of the country I am currently settled in at any given time, on a larger scale, I chose not to become proficient in one at the highest possible speed. When I chose to cook a meal, there are a hundred things I could have done instead.

Learning to choose how to unfold in the given context and time is one of the most important life skills, and I believe it is toxic to do it within a framework of expectations (from inside or outside) to meet our highest potential. Let's NOT do that. Let's decide on what is important and go for that seventy percent of the time, leaving a lot of space for unfocused rest, intuition, and the great “nothing.”

Let’s just be. Let be. Choose to be. And what to be. Remember, the “highest potential” of this life is to live it.

Love and light


Cecilie Conrad

🇩🇰 Also available in Danish 🇩🇰 

Thank you for reading
I would love to hear from you. Listen to your thoughts and reflections - or praise :) It is often emotional to share our life like this, and we get very happy when we get feedback from you. So feel free to share a comment below 😋 

Summer Solstice | Day 171 of my 2023 Journal
Leaving Sweden | Day 173 of my 2023 Journal


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Here you can find my latest writing - It is a mix of my blogposts and 2023 journaling. I hope you will enjoy it :)