We’ve all heard the old adage, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” It refers to the fact that our skills and talents will steadily deteriorate without regular practice and exercise. What may start as a small decline in ability can become full-on uselessness if we simply shelve our gifts and forget about them.
This saying is a vital reminder in a world full of distractions to capitalize on your capabilities before they slip away. While no one wants to dwell on negative “what ifs,” picturing the regret we may feel years from now over wasted gifts can be a motivating force. The time to harness your full potential is right now.
Lost Potential Hurts the Most
Imagine yourself many years from now, looking back with profound regret over dormant talents and passions that were never nurtured. Picture the sorrow of realizing you let certain abilities go rusty and slip through your fingers entirely when you could have brought them to life.
Of all life’s regrets, the pain of reflecting on unused potential and wasted opportunities may be the most acute. Don’t let the prime of your abilities pass you by. Make the decision to live to your fullest.
Use it Before You Lose it
Your energy, physical fitness, fast-thinking mind, and even passion for your work – all of these attributes tend to diminish with time if not actively exercised.
While change is inevitable, you have agency in the present moment. Whatever your skills, interests, and dreams are right now at this stage of life, pursue them with gusto. Make hay while the sun shines on the unique gifts you have today.
Skills Get Rusty with Disuse
Like machinery, our talents and capabilities require ongoing maintenance and motion to keep functioning well. Leave them be, and you invite rust, decay, and eventual mechanical failure.
Consistent practice is key to sustaining most skills. Give your gifts the repeated exercise they need to not lapse into disrepair. Keep yourself tuned up and humming along smoothly.
Your Moment Is Now
Beyond maintaining current abilities, urgency comes from not knowing what tomorrow brings. If you keep waiting for the perfect future moment to chase dreams, it may never arrive. This is your window of opportunity.
Don’t keep hitting snooze on your potential. Seize the day and pursue your passions to the fullest right now while you have the means and openings. Today is the day to soar.
Be Wary of Complacency
One of the greatest threats to fully using your gifts is getting too comfortable with past accomplishments and talents that came easily. The second you cease pushing your limits, you start sliding backward.
Repeating what worked before leads to stagnation. You will lose capacities by sticking rigidly to old ways versus continuing to progress and expand. Keep leveling up.
Time Waits For No One
Remember how quickly the years seem to have flown by so far? That speed only increases as each decade represents a smaller fraction of your life.
As obligations and priorities evolve over your life seasons, your available mental space and time will likely contract. Act on passions now before they become crowded out.
Reignite Passions Before It’s Too Late
It’s common for major responsibilities or identity shifts to force old passions onto the back burner indefinitely. But rather than permanently resigning yourself, reopen that conversation.
Revisiting shelved parts of yourself with fresh eyes can reignite a sense of possibility before it’s too late. It’s not a closed book until you close it.
This classic phrase, meaning “seize the day,” sums up the essence of fully utilizing your gifts right now. Live engaged in the present, wringing all the juice from each moment instead of passive daydreaming.
Channel your inner childlike wonder and set squirrel-like fear of missing out to make the absolute most of the capabilities you have in this moment.
It’s Never Really Too Late to Start
While time is precious, it’s also good to remember it’s never truly too late to develop new skills or reignite old ones with proper discipline.
Plenty of people reinvent themselves and pivot successfully into entirely new careers, even late in life. Commitment and grit go a long way.
To sum it up, regularly nurture your gifts rather than assuming they’ll always be there waiting for you someday. Make the decision now to live fully into your potential, not look back with regret over what could have been. This is your time! Seize your gifts and soar.