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Uncovering Messages From Two Tough Guys

The great philosopher, Popeye, said “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.” At first glance, maybe that statement doesn’t appear to be all that deep, but if you look a little deeper, it means so much more.

We have our limitations, some we never explore and some may test us constantly. Our identity fluctuates with the role and position for the tasks needed to be fulfilled at the time. Trying to be all things to all people isn’t practical, easy, or healthy. Popeye knew his place in the world, in the end, he always fought the bully and won, got the girl, and took back his self-respect. In nearly every episode this average iron deficient occasional spinach-eater ended as hero.

Dirty Harry said “a man has got to know his limitations”. Between Harry and Popeye is the lesson of finding our balance. Icons, heroes, pop culture, and advertising bombards us with expectations and limitations that they alone try to put on us. As if daily living isn’t stressful enough, living by anyone else’s idea of how to live seems like an added pressure, that I don’t need.

Finding your target and keeping yourself challenged but not over-tasked, just might be the right balance. Each of has our own unique skills and abilities that distinguish us. Comparison isn’t fair or necessary when setting our personal goals. To each his or her own. Targets are made to be raised or lowered after several attempts of successes and near misses.

Keep aiming high! Passion and persistence can prevail!

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