Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fortune Cookie Say:

Apparently, I'm not very good at the whole blogging thing. I'm not very diligent at keeping it updated. Anyway, today, as I sat waiting for my Kung Pao Chicken to be brought to my table, I treated myself to fortune cookie. In addition to being the 'ideal' cookie (hard, crunchy, and often stale) they occasionally provide some sort of insight. Today's fortune read as follows: 'The limit to your abilities is where you place it.'

Elephants are a symbol of wisdom in many Asian cultures. In addition to their intelligence, they also have impressive memories. It is believed that an elephant will remember your scent for years after your original encounter and can recall whether their interaction with you was positive or negative. So, what do elephants and this particular fortune cookie have in common, you ask.

Well, I read in a book, The Heart Speaks, a little bit about the training of circus elephants. To teach them their boundaries when they are young, one end of a chain is fastened around its leg and the other end to a stake in the ground. The young elephant does not possess enough strength to break free and thus is forced to remain within the boundaries it has been given. Something interesting happens as the elephant grows older, despite growing in size and strength, the elephant still remains within its boundaries.

In other words the 'limit to the elephant's abilities is where it has been placed by its trainer.' We are much the same way...we live in a world where we are compelled, either by ourselves or those around us, to accept certain limitations. We sell ourselves short of achieving our full potential. And, the truth is, our potential really is only limited by the restrictions that we put on it. We need to brake the chains the hold us hostage and dare to explore the countless opportunities that are placed before us. Gotta Love Fortune Cookie Wisdom!


  1. You KNOW I'm going to have to disagree with you here...! I feel that circumstance also puts limitations on us! What about a boy in Bhutan that aspires to be a global pop star? Or a girl in Utah that wants to be the Pope? Sexism, racism, poverty, ageism, illness, and every other bane to human kind keep BILLIONS of people from actaulizing their full potential!

    I'd like to think of these issues as the chain that can only be broken with a paradigm shift, not just a pull-yerself-up-by-yer-darn-tootin'-bootstraps solution.

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  3. Of course you disagree with me...I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm curious where the paradigm shift begins??? Wouldn't the best place to start be with the individual? With the Utah girl who wants to be the Pope, or the boy in Bhutan?

    I'm not saying that all things are possible. You're absolutely right (you might want to copy and paste that somewhere) there are certain limitations that prevent people from fulfilling their dreams BUT, I don't know of any limitations that prevent them from trying. The disappointment of not achieving our dreams would be greater if we didn't at least try. The great thing about our dreams and aspirations is that they can change along with our perspective. We are willing to make compromises in certain aspects of our lives because we WANT to. And, there are other things in our lives that we will not compromise whatever the cost.

    As much as I hate to use democratic candidates as an example, what if Hillary Clinton had decided not to run because there had never been another female president, or if Barack Obama had decided it was not worth the time and/or effort to run because there had never been a black president? They began a paradigm can too. It begins with the girl who has aspirations to become the pope, it continues to the young boy who dreams of becoming a global pop star, and is perpetuated by you and me.