Know Your Limitations

…but avoid limiting yourself.

A great movie and okay series was Limitless. If you have not had a chance to watch the movie here is the summary. A guy who is a bit of a slacker gets involved with an odd drug after his friend gives him a “sample.” Our star (the hot) Bradley Cooper experiences off the chart recall and the ability to concentrate while he is on this drug called NZT. The drug is dangerous because if you take too much for too long it will ruin your body and mind. As the story ensues it takes us down the path with Cooper’s character on his journey to get all the good out of NZT while avoiding the bad.

This is my dream drug. To have the ability to utilize and recall all the things that I have watched, read, learned and experienced and use its super power for good. But that is only fantasy. We are human and as such we have limitations. Some limitations are dictated to us and some are self-imposed.

Many people wish, hope or pray that things will happen for them without believing the goal is possible. If that is the case, how can it be realized? Conversely, we believe that we can achieve anything we put our minds to long enough. If we work hard enough, diet long enough, study hard enough…you get the idea.

But what about knowing yourself well enough to understand that there are certain aspects of a job, relationship, house, or adventure that fall outside of the boundaries of our capability? What if we listen to that deepest part of us which lets us know that we need to stop—or not even begin?

As a female I believe the idea that I can do anything is has been instilled in me. I must be able to carry the load of others at injury to my health and emotional wellbeing. I believe that many women also have this belief and do the same thing.

It takes a lot of intention to hear your true self—your muse talking to you. Not the voices of our father, mother, friends or any others that have (maybe in “your best interest”) told us who we are or what we are able to do.

An example of stopping in my best interest was when I participated in a 24 hour dance marathon. At hour number 14 I decided to stop. This was for several reasons which included my feet being so swollen I had to take off my shoes in order to dance, being so tired that I had lost track of time; but most importantly my pledges were not increasing with each hour I danced. Plus there were no new pledges coming in; partly because the event was not well publicized. So there were no onlookers wanting to donate to the cause. Yes, I could have gone on. But to what end?

Another example is when one of my Boston Terriers would just stop and lay down during our walks. In my opinion this was a form or intelligent disobedience. Because as you may know Bostons are prone to overheat and mine was smart enough to stop and rest so he would not suffer heat exhaustion or sun stroke. Perhaps I am projecting here. Perhaps I had an intelligent dog who knew that he needed to stop.

Sometimes it is better for us to set boundaries and stick to them if only for our own good. If you are the morning person avoid shift work. If you are a night person avoid early morning jobs. If you like the outdoors don’t take an office job. I could go on and on but certainly you get the idea.

Part of taking care of you is championing yourself. Often that requires thinking differently. If you keep banging your head against a wall about a problem try talking to someone whose view point is diametrically opposed to yours. Since their thought process is different. They may be able to offer inspiration to you. So then you will be able to find a resolve which has eluded you previously.

Sometimes it is necessary to accept those things that are part of the fabric of our being. Then we can get onto the path where our goal lies. If we stop fighting ourselves we can grow. To put it simply (and as a familiar colloquialism) “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”…or a slushy, or sorbet, or even pie! But make something with what you have instead of griping about it.

That is what I hope to achieve. Getting there can be tricky and will most definitely have deviations but baby steps are still steps.


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