The thing about potential is that while it may be something recognizable, the capacity by which a future is promised is held by something latent. Thus, although a possibility can be seen, there is no guarantee it will be realized. And while it is desirable to hold on to a potential, sometimes, we become blindsided and fail to see the actual.
Hope springs eternal; but we should also open our eyes to reality. If the odds are greater than the potential, we must accept the reality that hope is infinitesimal.