Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reaching our potential...

How do we know if we ever reach our potential? Do each of us even know what our potential is? Do we care? And if we do know what it is, do we have any idea how to get there? I've heard people exclaim--usually when they believe someone is underachieving--"...but he [or she] has so much potential." Hmmmm. And they base that opinion on what? Assumed intelligence? Talent? Ambition? Age? Personality? Strength of character? What?

Someone once said that, "Nothing is more common than unfulfilled potential." That must mean that we all have it, we all just don't do much with it. Right? That's a fair statement, I suppose, but how do any of us determine let alone reach our potential? How can we figure out what incredible feat or personal strength we are capable of? How do we know when to push ourselves, when to reach for a higher rung, when to strive for a goal that seems at worst unreachable and at best just beyond our grasp? Then, if we do step out on that limb, how do we know when we haven't chosen the wrong path of potentiality or if we haven't barked up the wrong potential tree?

Do only the strong and the fittest reach their potentials? The driven, workaholics? Is it the innovative or the inquisitive that do it? Or is it the brightest and smartest that grab their potential and shake it in the face of the world?

I believe that every day we get up and seek new knowledge or enlightenment, when we are unsatisfied with the status quo in our lives, when we strive to perfect a new skill or gain a strength we did not know we possessed, when we question what appears to be life's limits or the bounds of our own goals or dreams, and when we encourage others to do the same...then we are striving for and realizing our potential. Sir Winston Churchill said that, "Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential." Continuous effort. Every day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What's up with Canadians and their hockey obsession...

First, I should disclose that I'm married to a Canadian, have two beautiful Canadian step-daughters, and a group of wonderful, warm, funny friends and in-law family members up north that I often wish I lived much closer to. But I have to admit...when it comes to hockey, these people are crazy.

Not the just the quirky, funny weird crazy, but the rambling, ranting, raging, one-small-step-from-a-straight-jacket crazy. The I-would-give-up-my-home-for-MapleLeafs-tickets crazy. Have mercy! During yesterday's olympic hockey game between the USA and Canadian, I had a feeling things were going to get ugly. I was outnumbered in my house with both hubby and step-daughter rooting on their home team. I feared for my life.

To say Canadians love their hockey is like saying a bear *poops* in the woods. More appropriately it's like saying a MOOSE *poops* in the woods. It's a monumental understatement--a statement so obvious in truth that it's a waste of breath to even utter it. They don't just love their hockey....they breath it, live it, would trade their firstborn for it.

Don't get me wrong. I'm also a big hockey fan (it was a requirement for the marriage!). It's an exciting sport, and working at a university which boasts one of the best NCAA collegiate hockey teams in the country (GO REDHAWKS!!), you can't help but catch the hockey fever. But I draw the line at naming my pets--or kids--Gretzky or Gordie.

And now back to last night's hockey game. The USA's 5-3 win over the Canadian team was a blow to all Canadians. Our good ol' U. S. of A couldn't be more out of favor with our neighbors to the north if we had beaten all their children, slept with their spouses, and insulted all their mothers. Canadians are wounded, bitter, grumpy, and stunned. And they are now out for blood. With their entire countrymen/women behind them, the Canadian hockey team will likely make mincemeat out of their opponents in the next few olympic games.

Then it will likely come down to the USA and Canada in the final game for the gold. I hope it does. What an exciting game that will be. The two best teams going at it again. YeeeHaww! Go USA!! But if USA wins again...wish me luck. It may just get mean and nasty around my house.