It's 2012. In the past hundred years, we've figured out a lot of what makes the world tick. We've nearly snuffed out diseases that wiped out millions in the past. We've learned how to fly. We're feeling pretty smart.

But there's so much we don't know yet. For instance, only 4% of the universe is the stuff you see: planets, stars, gas clouds. Butterflies and elephants. All of the stuff made up of molecules and atoms.

Scientists aren't sure what the other 96% is. They made up words to describe it: dark matter and dark energy.

What is dark matter? It's a subatomic particle that can't be seen in any laboratory, but might make up 23% of the universe. Scientists think it exists because they can't explain some of the gravitational effects that they're seeing.

When gravity behaves differently out in space than it does here, something must be causing that change. So until they know what it really is, scientists are calling it dark matter.

What is dark energy? It makes up 73% of the universe; basically everywhere that dark matter and atomic matter aren't. Scientists are using it to explain how the universe keeps expanding faster than they think it should. Some invisible force is accelerating our expansion, and we don't know why.

Let's relate this 4% number to another thing that baffles scientists: your DNA. You have between 25,000 and 30,000 genes. There are 3 billion rungs on your DNA ladder.

You probably think that your genes make up 100% of your DNA, right? Nope.

You may be surprised to learn that your genes account for only 4% of your DNA. What's the other 96%?

We don't know.

I like to think of it as potential.

Your thoughts are constantly turning genes on and off. Your genes aren't your destiny. They're just a starting point.

You can apply the dark matter/energy theories in a similar way to your life: people put out the same amount of effort, i.e., working 8 hours a day, but they don't have identical success.

In other words, if success were dependent solely on the amount of effort expended, I'd be a millionaire (and so would most of the people I've ever known). But there are other factors involved. Hidden factors.

Call it luck. Call it synchronicity. Call it whatever you want. Call it “dark” success. It's still an unknown factor. Even the people who have stumbled upon it can't tell you exactly how their success happened.

And even though we can't isolate it and name it, this factor is strong, powerful and omnipresent.

Bottom line: there's a lot going on that we can't see and that we don't yet understand. So there's a tremendous amount of space out here on the leading edge of evolution. The leading edge of personal growth. The leading edge of success.
With so much still unknown, it's impossible for others to tell you that you can't do or be what you want.

The key is to feel completely free to explore your own potential. Fully 100% of the limitations you hold are simply illusions. So push the limits. Start small, but push. See if the dark energy that's driving the expansion of the universe can push a little dark success your way.

Author's Bio: 

Judy Widener is a Certified Life Coach and author of Power For A Lifetime: Tools You Customize to Build Your Personal Power Every Day Of Your Life. You can sign up for Discovering Your Values, a 5-day e-course at no cost at Her passion is assisting her clients to discover what is most important to them, then to create more balance and satisfaction in their lives. She offers a comprehensive program that teaches clients simple ways to build their personal power and overcome obstacles to achieving their dreams. Judy has coached more than 600 people over the past 13 years. Her website is