My husband and I grabbed a quick 4 day getaway just a few hours from our home. We headed to Portland, Oregon for some time to play, connect with friends, eat great food, shop in stores we do not have at home, and simply spend time as a couple. It was a wonderful.
However, Portland is a very “colorful” city; a city that proudly displays signs that say “Keep Portland Weird”. 🙂 My eyes cannot un-see some of the craziness I saw!
I am always on the hunt to learn life lessons from all that takes place in my life and I was struck by one particular experience this trip. Food Carts! quite a phenomenon in the state of Oregon, especially in the city. Lots of eclectic, great food choices are available. My husband and I decided to go where over 50 food carts fill two city blocks; we wanted to experience all that we had heard about from others!
We must have walked through all the carts 2 or 3 times before we settled on our food choice. Taking our “to-go” boxes we headed to a large open area nearby so that we could sit and enjoy our meal. The open area was full of people with the same idea as we had. Sitting amongst over 200 people we watched an interesting phenomenon that really got me thinking…………..
Over two-thirds of those there were families and individuals enjoying a great meal; laughing and talking with friends. One third of those there were part of the large homeless community in Portland. We watched as visitors would throw their to-go containers in the garbage while those that were homeless would make their way over to the garbage container to see if there was any leftovers that they could eat. It felt really odd; uncomfortable to watch.
As I watched I noticed that many of those who chose to find their meal in the garbage bin were strong, healthy strapping young people full of potential. I’m sure there are many reason that I may not clearly understand as to why these young people were homeless but I asked myself the question; “What does it take to get to the place where your greatest win of the day is someone else’s trash?” “What kind of mindset must one have to be content to live a life based on someone elses leftovers??”
Thinking even broader I began to wonder if in some ways we can also choose to be happy living way below our potential; content with whatever joys we can find along the way. Are we making positive choices to use all of our potential to be all that we can be so that our “wins” are really meaningful. Are you content with “hoping” your dreams will come to fruition? Hoping someone will make it happen for you? Do you find that you wait for whatever opportunity you might be offered in your place of business rather than striving for goals that help to stretch you and move you toward your higher potential??
Living below our potential….being at the effect of what others may offer us……is a mind-set that can be changed. Take inventory of your life, all your gifts and talents, all the possible opportunities, and all your hopes and dreams! Then get out there and set the bar high; don’t settle for being less than who you truly are.