I heard it years ago, but never forgot it.  (That seems to be a pattern with me in the way I learn…I read/hear something in a sermon, speech or at a conference  which hits me and it sticks with me.)  What did I hear? Okay here it is:

Your mind is like a filing cabinet with ten drawers.  The average person only uses one of those ten drawers…the other nine are, for all practical purposes, empty and sitting idle! 


For some reason, it popped into my head awhile ago as I was reading about the danger of putting a lid on my ability to learn, grow and increase my capacity. 

Here is the question that was bouncing around in my head.  Is intelligence (IQ, or other types of so-called innate intelligence) fixed or can it grow with experience, practice and study?  Are you born with a lid on your intelligence, gifting, capabilities from which you cannot escape or exceed?

There’s lots of discussion out there on this topic.  I recently read a book titled,“Talent is Overrated,” by Geoff Colvin. (You will find it under “booknotes” on my website, davekraft.org.)  This book opened up a whole new way of thinking for me as to why some people are really good at certain things. And, according to Geoff, it has very little to do with the set of “cards” (family, geography, finances) you think they were dealt at birth, or the genetic makeup you have or don’t have. God is bigger than all of that.

So, when I heard the speaker say that nine of my mental drawers are virtually empty…doing nothing, it sparked me to become a life-long learner and see if I could start, productively, using the nine empty drawers. I am not sure which drawer I’m currently filling, but, by His grace, I believe I have moved beyond drawer one.

 “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” ~Konrad Adenauer.

What is setting the limits of your horizon? How far is Jesus enabling you to see, beyond the limits you have fixed in your thinking? How many drawers are you putting to use? What’s holding you back from going places you’ve never been, trying things you’ve never tried, or launching a new idea people said you were not capable of launching, or even thinking about launching?

If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. There may be a drawer (s) inside of you waiting to be tapped.