We’ve all got it.
And when you think about it… when you really think about it… potential is the most important thing we have. The question is if we will fulfill it, surpass it or just plain blow it out of the water.
I’ve been in a reflective mood for the past few days.
Now, I’m not one of these crazies that mourn every celebrity that passes away. However, when Betty White goes, I’ll be a messed up drunk heap on the floor… but that’s beside the point.
I loved Whitney Houston. Her big moments were when I was just a kid. But when I went to school for broadcasting and started listening to more and more and more music, Whitney was in my trunk disc changer ALL THE TIME. Yes, kids. We had to have multiple physical CDs in the trunk of our cars. Not these fancy little boxes that hold a million songs in the palm of your hand.
Back when I weighed 160 lbs for those precious few years and was a dancing, sweaty mess at 1:30 in the morning, I Wanna Dance With Somebody was the bomb.
And as much fun as we made of My Love is Your Love when I was a Senior in high school, every time she sang, “turn me up, turn me up,” I did. And you did, too.
I Will Always Love You is and will remain a legendary hit.
I hate Christmas music. I just can’t stand it and I really despise these stations that do nothing but Christmas for a whole month or more. But when Whitney sang Do You Hear What I Hear, I stopped in my tracks every time.
How Will I Know was definitely the go-to song driving home at 3 in the morning after NYPD pizza in Ann Arbor on Friday nights.
In the early 2000’s, Just Whitney was released to marginal critical acclaim, but this guy just loved Try It On My Own.
And recently, I Look to You was the perfect gift at a rough time in my life. Having lost my grandfather in the summer, my Dad was in the hospital for 6 weeks in the fall of 2009 before passing away on November 30th. That song really did help me through. And I thank Ms. Houston for that.
I will be the first to admit that I laughed at her destructive and unfortunate behavior over the past ten years or so. From Kathy Griffin’s hilarious run-ins with the diva to Maya Rudolph’s insanely funny impersonations on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, to myself running around and screaming, “Bobby!” at the top of my lungs, Whitney just provided some great material.
This material, however, came at the cost of her potential.
Sure, as evidenced from my examples above, Whitney Houston’s music affected most of us in many different ways and she did accomplish so much. But she was only 48… so much potential.
Then the question becomes: how do we learn from this too-soon loss?
Very simple, really: live your potential.
Don’t wait to chase your dreams. See and do everything you can right now. Spend your time wisely. Share your talent. Celebrate your successes. Learn from your failures. Respect and honor the talents of others. Smile and laugh and encourage others every single day. Stand up for yourself and your beliefs. And you’ll be well on your way to living your potential.
Take care. And say a little prayer for the family of Whitney Houston and all the other people around the world that are hurting because of a loss. More importantly, live the potential that others may not have.