I’ve heard people use both of these statements as a reason for not giving something a “best shot”. What empty statements to hide behind! It takes much more energy to howl at the moon over being mediocre than to give any goal all we have-and discover how much more we are capable of giving in the process.
I was once asked to make one wish for all of mankind. After a little thought, I said that my wish would be that each person would feel great and all-encompassing self-esteem. That, too, is an empty statement. What I truly would wish is that each of us would stop being so full of fear-fear of the unknown. Fear of the unknown to such an extent that we, in varying degrees, immobilize ourselves-condemn ourselves to a life of mediocrity and meaningless survival.
Each of us can find something, whatever it is, that will give us the courage to go all the way and more. Even in this one area, the same lesson can be learned to apply to everything we do. In my case, it was my music and when, after a while, the “fear” of performing started getting in the way of that, I found bodybuilding. Those last two repetitions, when you “know” you can’t do anymore and, as if by a miracle, you do it. As you catch your breath and the blood stops pounding in your ears you wonder “Why did I feel I couldn’t do those two final repetitions? What is wrong inside of me that makes me set these imaginary limits?”
Where DID we learn to let fear rule our lives? As small children, we didn’t let it govern us. We learned to walk because we weren’t afraid of falling down. We learned to read because no one ever told us we couldn’t. We smiled and said “Hello” to strangers in elevators because we weren’t afraid of being rejected. I’m not recommending a blind, headlong dash into a haphazard life of risk-not by any means. But what I am recommending is that we think a little bit less and do an awful lot more. Find that one thing you can push yourself to do where you can block out your preconceived limits-and just do it…and do it and do it. And let that doing teach you what LIMITLESS really means: just “baby steps”, but what a world they can uncover.
Smelling the Roses
We are such strange creatures. So often, a thought will occur to us that is so very true and simple that we nod our heads, smile and file it away so deep it might as well have never been born. Then, at various times, we will read this same thought expressed by someone else, nod our heads and smile again, then once more file it away.
I often repeat something to a student and he or she says, “Oh, I know that”. Sure. You may have heard it or may have even said it, but until you LIVE it, you don’t KNOW it.
What are some of these little truths that we file away?
- BABY STEPS. No accomplishment of excellence comes about by a miracle. One careful baby step after another builds all superior achievement.
- For these baby steps to work, you must BELIEVE that they will and have FAITH in the outcome. How does one have faith in something one can’t see yet? That is what faith is all about – believing the unprovable. The lubricant for this faith and belief is PATIENCE and CONSISTENT, UNFAILING EFFORT. Ten more minutes on a trouble spot; one less cookie; five more minutes securing a memory problem; one more vegetable; five more minutes a day on the treadmill; one more scale learned – these baby steps are in themselves nothing, but tens and hundreds of them totaled up?
- The PRESENT – RIGHT NOW, is all that matters. Except for the lessons learned and the strength gained, the past is dead. The future is totally dependent on what we are doing today, this minute. Don’t drag yourself down by focusing on anything but doing the best you can at this moment.
- YOUR ONLY COMPETITION IS YOURSELF! There is always going to be someone with more glistening scales, bigger biceps or a smaller waist. These same people are probably worrying about things you already have and take for granted. Working toward the best that YOU are is more than enough to keep you going.
- YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST TEACHER. You must rely on yourself for constant monitoring and develop the individual skills to KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED. When we depend on someone else we become their slave. The road to personal freedom is learning to push our own buttons. You may study once or twice a week with the finest teacher in the world, but it still all comes down to the fact that, day to day, YOU are the one you spend the most time with. Yours are the ears that have to be constantly alert; yours is the mind that has to be creative every minute that you work and finally you alone are responsible for keeping yourself psyched up for productive practice (and living).
- Always remember that life is a PROCESS: ever changing and filled with obstacles that we far too often allow to swallow us up. Overcome the obstacles-climb over them, burrow under them or snake around them– and keep the process alive and thriving. That’s why we are here, isn’t it?