7 junio, 2024

Potentialities of the human being: definition, capacities, examples

What are human potentialities?

The human potentialities They are the set of abilities that human beings can develop in the course of life.

When we say that something is potential or is in potential, it means that it does not yet exist or has not manifested itself, but that there is evidence that it could do so if certain requirements are met or the right conditions are present.

For example, if we hear that Covid-19 is a life-threatening disease, we are being told that for some people under certain circumstances, the virus can cause death. It does not mean that it is deadly always or in all cases.

Similarly, when it is suggested that a boy has potential for soccer or mathematics, it does not mean that he is already a great player or a scientific genius, but that, with the necessary training and perseverance, he could become one.

Thus, human potentialities are all those talents, abilities, behaviors and skills, whether physical, intellectual or emotional, that people can manifest throughout life if they choose and if they are under the right circumstances.

Potential and capabilities

Capabilities are skills or abilities that are already possessed, that have manifested themselves and have been sufficiently developed.

Instead, a potentiality is a capacity projected into the future.

To go from a potentiality to a capacity, time is needed (patience and perseverance), willpower to learn and train, have the necessary tools, help or support, and finally make the decision, because it can also happen that a person has potentialities that you are not interested in developing.

Human potentialities are numerous; We can classify them as physical, intellectual and sexual.

physical potentialities

They are those related to the human body: the speed and precision of its movements, its strength and its resistance. They develop through exercise, gymnastics or the practice of a sport.


It consists of applying muscular tension against a certain resistance. It is developed through weight lifting and a diet rich in protein.


It consists of making an effort for a long time without experiencing fatigue. It is developed through cardiovascular exercises.


It consists of executing one or several movements in the shortest possible time. It is developed through the practice of martial arts and athletics.


The ability to move the joints and stretch the muscles of the body to their maximum potential. It is developed through stretching exercises and the practice of yoga.


It consists of clearly perceiving the position of one’s own body in space and staying in the same position for a certain time. It is developed through yoga and exercises specially designed for this potentiality.

sexual potentialities

Sexuality is not the same as sex. With this last term we refer to a physical activity that lasts for a limited time and that may or may not have a reproductive purpose.

Instead, sexuality accompanies people throughout their lives. It is made of physical contact, love, eroticism, but also respect, appreciation, sense, future projects, values ​​and intimacy.

Sexuality is not only what we feel in the body, but also the meaning we give to those feelings and the decisions we make accordingly. It includes both the physical dimension and the emotional and mental ones.

affective bonds

They are the ones we develop with our parents, children, siblings and other relatives, as well as with our friends, couples, with some teachers and mentors, co-workers, pets, among others.

It is a fundamental potentiality for the development of the individual and of the human species. At birth, human babies are much more dependent on their parents than the young of other animals. The time they need to fend for themselves and become independent from their parents is also much longer.

For this reason, the development of healthy affective bonds is essential for the survival of babies, children and young people and for their healthy development.


It is the potential to establish an interpersonal bond through the enjoyment of the body, both that of the other person and the sensations that the other person awakens in our own body.

Eroticism is associated with the genital response and sexual appetite, but it can also manifest itself through a work of art, such as a sculpture, a film, a poem, or a novel.

Eroticism includes not only mental sensations, but also the mental realm: the meanings we give to our experiences, the choices we make based on them.


It refers to the potentiality of reproducing and perpetuating the existence of the human species.

Reproductiveness is related to both the physical aspect of procreation (sex act, childbirth, breastfeeding, upbringing) and the psychological: what emotions does the idea of ​​motherhood or fatherhood arouse in the individual? Has he considered it as part of his life project?; What moment of life do you consider the most appropriate to become a mother or father?

intellectual potentialities

The potentialities of this category are associated with intelligence in a broad sense, that is, not only as high academic performance, but as talent or ability to stand out in various fields, such as theater, music, science, literature, among others. others.

Some of the potentialities of this category are:

Mathematical logician

It consists of the ability to solve problems that require the application of logical reasoning, as is often the case in mathematics and physics. It is developed through exercise, that is, the constant analysis and solution of physical-mathematical problems through equations and abstract thinking.


Ability to communicate efficiently and persuasively orally and in writing, as well as to learn new languages. It develops fundamentally through reading and writing.


Ability to easily identify musical notes, reproduce them on an instrument or with the voice. It also refers to the talent to sing or play one or more instruments. It develops with practice and listening to different types of music.


It is the ability to remember and fix in memory the data and information that is received through the senses (what is read, heard or seen).

A person can develop their memory ability by doing mnemonic exercises, that is, techniques of associating one concept with another in order to easily remember it later.

emotional control

Emotional control is that potentiality necessary for good social coexistence. We cannot let emotions control us in all life situations, that is, we cannot get angry about any difficulty that comes our way at school, work, university or everyday life.

Emotional control serves to prioritize concerns and to prevent stress from overwhelming us. It is achieved by learning to breathe deeply and with meditation techniques.


(2020). Potential. Spanish dictionary. Taken from dle.rae.es.
Fields, E. (2020). High intellectual capacities: a potential that is not used in El Salvador. disruptive. Publication of the Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Francisco Gavidia University. Taken from disruptive.media.
Castelan, J. (2021). «What is my potential?» +15 easy methods to find out. Taken from crehana.com.
Marquez, D. (2013). What is a potentiality? Taken from aulazdp.blogspot.com.

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