WOW Word-Of-the-Week #446: Possibilities

February 21, 2013 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #446: Possibilities 

Possibilitiesthings that you are capable of achieving.

Have you ever achieved something that you thought would be impossible? Have you ever dreamed of reaching or getting something so outrageous that you quickly dismissed it? Do you believe anything is possible?

Three weeks ago I wrote about US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and this week I felt compelled to write about her memoir titled “My Beloved World.” This second UT article covered her speech at USD. She said, “I wrote it as honestly and candidly as I could.”

She joked that the book was thick, so if she ever let her status go to her head, her family and friends could whack her with it. Then shea sonia got serious: “The essence of its purpose was to remind me of where I came from. Anything is possible. Becoming who you want to be is something everyone in this room should aim for, work for…but also take joy in.”

 She urged young people to reach for their dreams but also to anchor themselves in their family histories. “If you’re fortunate enough to have a living parent…a living grandparent…who remembers your family stories, take the time to listen to their stories. And ask why. Why did that happen and how did that make you feel?”

I believe that your possibilities are either limited or unlimited based on your thinking. I know that to be true for me. When my dear friend Gloria told me that we would be going to the Academy Awards in 1995, I never in my wildest dreams ever thought it would happen. And it did in 1998! And it totally changed how I think about possibilities.

This week’s focus is about your possibilities. Are you who you want to be? What is in your wildest dreams? Do you believe you are capable of achieving anything you want? What is stopping you from going for it?

Reader Responses

“I tell my daughters that they can be anything that they want to be. My older daughter talked about being a teacher a couple of years ago. Recently, after talking to my sister-in-law, who is an interior designer, she has talked about doing that for a living, especially opening her own business. I don’t know what she will do, but she has the ability to do anything she wants and we have inculcated that belief in her. My 11-year-old than asked our 4-year-old what she wanted to do. She honestly did not know what she wanted to do. She is very straightforward for her age. You probably experienced doubts from people when you had decided to write your books. During my search for a publisher, which took a couple of years, I had one woman ask, “What happens if you don’t find a publisher?” Almost as if that would be an obstacle. My answer was that I would self-publish. It is amazing how people look at the limits, or obstacles, instead of the possibilities. I don’t think I ever believed that I would not get my first book published. Maybe it had something to do with the belief in my abilities or the project, but it never occurred to me that it would never get accomplished. The publisher for my second book wanted the manuscript completed in two and a half months. That compressed time frame intimidated me at the start, but the more I thought about it the more I believed that it would be done. One of my co-workers asked me on more than one occasion, “Do you think you will finish it on time?” He did not think I would. But I reassured him that it would be done – ON TIME. And I delivered it to the publisher on the day that I said I would. I don’t know if having those who doubted me was taken on as a challenge by me or if it just reinforced the belief in my abilities. But I made a commitment, and when I make commitments I have always stuck with them, come rain, shine, hell or high water. When I make my next commitment – whether it be a book or other project – I will do the same thing. And I think my daughters have picked up on that in their own lives. Everything is possible. We just have to keep an open mind to the infinite possibilities in our lives. And we will never know until we really try.” –  “Warrior” Joe

WOW Word-Of-the-Week #443: Stubborn

January 31, 2013 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #443: Stubborn 

Stubbornrefusing to give up; persistent.

Are there ever times that you are stubborn? Do you tend to be persistent and not give up when you want something? Have you ever wondered where that trait comes from?

Last Sunday US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke at USD. John Wilkens from the UT wrote, “Determined, resilient, strong-willed – that’s how people often characterize Sonia who grew up poor in a Bronx neighborhood ravaged by drugs and crime.

 She uses a different word to describe herself: ‘Stubborn.’

 “It’s that refusal to give up. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had it,” she said. “The stubbornness – I wasn’t always admired for it. My mother thought I was a living terror. But it was to a purpose. It was the engine that drove me.”

 Sotomayer has just released her memoir titled “My Beloved World.” While the book doesn’t offer much insight to her legal reasoning it is a candid, revealing look at a life of obstacles overcome and opportunities seized.

She’s the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, raised in a neighborhood where she was told to use the elevators in buildings because the stairwells had muggers and drug addicts. She writes about her cousin Nelson, her best friend growing up. According to her, he was the smarter of the two, but he got hooked on heroine and died of AIDS before he hit 30. She sometimes wonders why she was able to escape the dangers that consumed him.”

 She writes about her lifelong “existential independence” saying, “It came from perceiving the adults around me as unreliable, and without it I felt I wouldn’t have survived. I cared deeply for everyone in my family, but in the end I depended on myself.”

This week’s focus is about being persistent and not giving up. Where in your life do you need to be a bit more stubborn? Can you remember any time in your life where you questioned those who thought they were best in charge of your life? What is the word that best describes “the engine that moves you?”

Reader Responses

“I am certainly stubborn, and so is my four-year-old daughter. I jokingly tell friends that my daughters get their genius and good looks from their mother, but they get their curiosity and stubbornness from their father. If I am pushed by those who do not have my best interests at heart, my stubbornness will come to the fore. And speaking of my daughters, I have stubbornly refused to get them a dog because I will be the one who has to not only walk the dog twice a day, but clean up after him. I tell my daughters that they are the ones who will wind up NOT taking care of the dog. Also, we have a cat. And one animal in the house is plenty. I also am stubborn on principle. If it is something that I strongly believe in, then I will put my foot down and firmly. So, I admit to being stubborn, but I am not stubborn to a fault. I will not be so stubborn that I don’t admit fault or won’t change. So, I come by my stubbornness honestly, as does my daughter. Enjoy the Super Bowl this weekend, Susan. I like Baltimore to defeat San Francisco 27-24 in a closely fought game. Hopefully the game will be as entertaining as the commercials. – “Warrior” Joe