Regarding Potential – A No Perspective

No, you do not have unlimited potential. Your potential is as limited as the capacity of your heart and body’s health.
No, you may not hide behind this fact and use it as a excuse to complain about life passing you by.
I know of a lot of people in wheelchairs or people that are visually impaired that live a full and meaningful life.
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No, you cannot become anything you want to. But yes, you can become more than what you are now. Most people have not even scratched the surface of their ability. They stagnate in a childish expectation that someone or something must come and give them their dream life. Most of us are no longer children depending on caregivers, we have in us everything we need to create the life we want. All we need to do is take the effort to identify what we want, plan how we are going to get it and then start the hard work of creating ourselves. It is the expectation that things must come easy that prevent us from achieving our dreams.

No, you are not too weak (or untalented or underprivileged) to create the life you want. We, humans are stronger than we thing we are. We have inherent strength that allows us to not just cope, but also thrive. You and I just need to tap into this inner strength. How? By choosing to believe the truth that you can, rather than the lie that you cannot.

Understanding that you are limited and embracing the reality of it liberates you from unrealistic grandiose mental pictures of yourself and allows you to see the real you. The real you that you can work with. Instinctively we know those grandiose pictures are unreachable and we either never start or become discouraged on our way of creating our real life.

The liberation lies in the acceptance of both your strengths and your weakness. The real you. No need to make excused for the weakness, just accept and manage it. It does not define you. It is merely the shadows that give your life depth. If something comes along that falls inside the sphere of your weakness, as for help. We can go so much further through collaboration than shackling ourselves with a egocentric “I can do it myself”. Start using others strength.

Focus on your strengths. It will bring you joy. Share it with others, it will make your life meaningful. It will also make creating the life you want easier. In the end, embrace being limited and wisely channel your limited energy to bring you the most out of life.

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Riding Out Life’s Tsunamis

I have to share this powerful story. Thank you Christo and Rubel

It has been over a month now since a powerful magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan. The confirmed death toll is over 13,000 and continues to rise. In the midst of all the horror stories are occasional heroic tales of survival and rescue. One of the most fascinating is that of Susumu Sugawara.

The 64-year-old Sugawara is the owner-operator of a small boat named “Sunflower.” After the massive earthquake and in view of the tsunami warnings being broadcast, he had to make a quick decision. Should he head for high ground on his island of Oshima? Should he put his boat to sea and try to ride out the fury? His chose to launch his boat and head for deep water offshore.

“I knew if I didn’t save my boat,” he told a CNN reporter, “my island would be isolated and in trouble.” So he ran to his 42-year-old craft that can hold about 20 people at a time and went full-throttle toward the deadly waves that would kill people whose names and faces he knew. Then he saw the wall of water.

Accustomed to waves ten to twelve feet high, this one was fully 50 to 60 feet high. Sugawara knew that he and his boat could easily wind up at the bottom of the sea. He drove straight for it – “climbing the wave like a mountain,” as he put it. And the mountain seemed only to grow bigger and bigger. There was a huge crash of water over him. Only then could he see the horizon. He had survived!

Sugawara made his way back to his now-devastated Oshima. For the month since, he has been a lifeline by making hourly trips to the mainland to ferry people and supplies. If people can help pay for gasoline, he accepts money. If they have lost everything and can pay nothing, he still welcomes them aboard.

I’m no sailor or boat captain. I don’t know if the Japanese captain made the reasonable and right decision on that fateful day. I can only report and rejoice at the outcome. He lived through the ordeal and is helping others with a sense of sensitivity to their suffering the rest of us can only admire from a distance.

Here is the lesson from this story for me: Against my hesitation and fear, it makes more sense to ride into the teeth of life’s challenges than to run away.

There is a cash-flow crisis. There is an unexpected problem with a product. A major supplier has failed, or a major customer has bailed. Some executives kick into denial mode or ball up in a fetal position. Their companies fail. Leaders steer right into the problem and act with integrity to name and face the problem.

Or maybe the problem is far more serious. A spouse says the marriage is over. The police or hospital calls with a parent’s worst nightmare about an arrest or accident. Maybe you get a diagnosis that sounds like a death sentence. Do you run and hide? Self-medicate with drugs or alcohol? Or do you steer into the teeth of the storm and pray for courage you have never had to display before?

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. “You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next one that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Rubel Shelly