"The realization of the self is only possible if one is productive, if one can give birth to one's potentialities." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Most, if not all, of the quotes I have come across from Goethe seem to me to contain much wisdom. They frequently make it into my word document where I store quotes of interest to me or that resonate for one reason or another. His quotes frequently resonate with me. But I know little of the man. German. A philosopher. That's about it.
This particular quote resonates in two ways. First it advises that one must be productive. One must produce. Usually that means produces results of some kind. It is well and good to think, ponder, and learn but without results to show for the time spent on those efforts - no realization of self, no birth of potentialities can take place. Productivity is a result of actions taken. Of acting and learning from those experiences. Of trial and error. Of progressive steps. One's potential becomes stillborn without these actions, without the productivity.
It also resonates with me as he refers to one's potentialities. There are unborn potentials in all of us. These wait to appear, to bloom, to grow, as either need or opportunity present themselves. We often have no idea of all of the wonderful things we are capable of, until we take action. Until we are productive.
What actions can I take, can you take, today? Tomorrow?