potentially yours: create a new life

Wouldn't it be nice if just thinking of something would make it happen?  If potential counted for everything instead of just a little teeny bit of everything?  I would be very happy if my potential would pay the bills.  I really would.

I remember ninth grade science class when Sister Josephine tried to teach us the difference between potential and kinetic energy.

Potential energy:  Potential energy is the energy stored in a body or in a system due to its position in a force field or due to its configuration.

Kinetic energy: The kinetic energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion.[1]

Thank you, Wikipedia (for clarification, a body in...its position in a force field might be me, right now, sitting on my rear in my bed with my computer propped up on one knee.  This bed is a great force field).

Here's an example:

During our Italian home search, we saw a number of interesting projects.  "Signora Baur," said the real estate agent as we drove away from what was basically a plot of land with  six stone pillars without a roof or an access road, " that property has a tremendous amount of potential." I  attempted to figure how much kinetic energy it would take to change those pillars into a B&B.

Sister Josephine would have loved this kind of calculation.

Let's see.  Take all the energy that three meals a day, regular meditation, slamming your fists while swearing and conversations with yourself can produce over the course of two years and exponentiate it to the power of ten. Multiply it by the maximum amount of money you can rustle up from all known sources and add three turned-down building permits and a rip-off of a plumber.

Yeah, you know what, that property had a whole lot of potential.  It still does.  Those six pillars are still up there on that plot of land, waiting for a shining kinetic prince.  Or princess. To whom I wish only the best.

I can tell you quite honestly that I am a person with an unbelievable amount of potential.  I surprise myself continuously with new ideas and thoughts, most of which I have forgotten about before I have managed to find a pen and my notebook, which often lie on opposite ends of my house.  I am a verifiable fountain of self-inspiration. I look at a piece of half rotted wood and see a coffee table waiting to happen.  Just need to get the saw and some oil and sandpaper and someone to make the base.  And there sits the coffee table, in the potential part of my brain, nagging me every time I walk down to the shed and see that blasted piece of half rotted wood.

I am a whole lot better at potential than I am at kinetic. But that's changing.  I've  realized a few things, and every time I put myself in a new situation, these things keep getting reinforced in a way that I know is universal and right and whole:

Potential is nothing if you don't use it.

Oh, come on, I know your mother or father or grandma told you this when you brought home a report card bereft with C's.  I really hate to admit it, but they were right. Use it. Because no one can do it like you can, in the way that you can, with your style and with your flair and with your ability.  No one.  So stop looking around and biting your lip.  Just do that fabulous thing that you have had on your mind now for what?  Years?

Doing good in life requires action.

Nothing good comes from thinking about a thing and not moving on it.

If something isn't working, change it.

Einstein said, " Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."  If you do nothing today except think about doing something but you still expect big results down the road, you're going to lose.  Period.  Look at where you want to be and adjust your course of action now.  You want to learn Swahili?  Get enrolled in a course.  You want to start a new career as an underwater basket weaver?  Get some used scuba gear on Ebay.  Do something.  Don't just sit there and think about it.

Get your ideas out of the potential and into the kinetic.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, feels better than getting active.  It's like your teeth feel after getting them cleaned and good sex and a new haircut all at once.  Clean out your drawers (whether they are your emotional ones or the ones in your bedroom), move your body, learn a new skill and take control of your life.  "I can't" is a complete waste of time.  You don't have any idea if you can or can't. And you won't know until you change some of your potential into kinetic.   When you do, you will release forces you never knew you had.  You will stop living life with the "fear brakes" on.

And people will notice.  Your new energy will be unmissable.

When I die, I don't want them to say, "Oh, that girl had so much potential."

I  would rather be staked out on an anthill naked, as Diane Chambers eloquently said, then have these words uttered about me.

If after judging carefully, taking a  project from the potential to the active will require too much of your life blood, drop it and move on.

Like the six pillars on a hill, you have to evaluate how much energy you have to dedicate to a project.  If it is going to be too much, move on to something smaller, more doable, where your chances for success are much higher.  I chose a house with intact walls.  I felt better about doing a restoration rather than a new build on a historic site.  Today I might choose differently, but I have six large renovations under my belt now. The six pillar project might have sent me packing had I tried it.  Not a good use of kinetic energy.

Whatever you do, don't let fear stop you.

Ok, you can't deny its existence, but you can make a deal with fear.  You can say,"Fear, ok, you just be there, but I am going to do what I have to do anyway.  You can make my heart beat faster, my palms sweat, my head ache and my throat dry.  But you cannot stop me from doing what I need to do."

Say it often enough, and then move forward.  Anxiety is a thief, but you can decide how much you let it steal from you.

'Nuff said.  I'm heading down to the shed to take another look at that piece of wood.

(picture:  old wood. Or a table.  Or a bookshelf. Or a sculpture.  Who knows?)