January 27

The great joy in life
is doing what people
say you cannot do.

Walter Bagehot


Today's Meditation:

I've never been a big fan of allowing other people to put limits on me simply with their words.  To me, someone saying that I can't do something is always more of a challenge than it is anything else.  Unless it's something ridiculous, like going out and running a four-minute mile without any training, I know that pretty much anything I put my mind to is well within my capability of accomplishing, even if it does take longer than I think it might or be more difficult than I anticipated. 

Why do we allow others to get inside our heads with their talk of limitations and impossibilities?  How can they possibly even imagine what our limits are, what our capabilities may allow us to do?  The fact is that no one--not even we ourselves--know just what we're capable of until we actually put ourselves out there and make an attempt to accomplish whatever it is that we wish to accomplish.  And someone who says you can't do something isn't doing so just to state a fact--they want to be able to say "I told you so" later, or they want to convince you not to push yourself to your limits and expand your world, for whatever selfish reasons they may have. 

In my experience, it's been a wonderful feeling accomplishing something that someone else has said I can't do.  It's allowed me to keep in mind that I'm not limited by other people's thoughts, ideas, or words--that I am me, and what someone else says I can or cannot do truly doesn't matter.  If I set my mind to something realistically achievable, I can do it.  Knowing that makes a huge difference in my life every day, not just when I'm trying to do what people say I can't. 

Life is full of examples of people who have done the "impossible," who have persevered against the odds and who have done what people have said they couldn't.  Even on a smaller scale in our lives, there's much gratification to be had if we tune out the nay-sayers and tune into our own potential, giving all that we have in order to accomplish what we wish to accomplish.

Questions to consider:

Why might we actually believe someone who says we can't do something that we're determined to do? 

What happens to our self-esteem and self-image when we give up on doing something just because someone else says we can't do it? 

Why might someone consider it a "great joy" to do something that others said they couldn't do?

For further thought:

If you persuade yourself that you can do a certain thing,
provided this thing be possible, you will do it, however
difficult it may be.  If, on the contrary, you imagine that
you cannot do the simplest thing in the world, it is
impossible for you to do it, and molehills become for you
unscalable mountains.

Emile Coue


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