Limitation vs. Possibility
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than it is to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
~ Teddy Roosevelt
This quote was inscribed on a plaque on a wall of my father’s office and now it’s inscribed in me.
Every so often, it’s customary to take stock — in life, in luck, in love, in all things. To count our blessings. And to assess what it is we want to accomplish in the days ahead. In the course of doing so, it struck me that we human beings dwell primarily in two domains — Limitation and Possibility.
These are the two forces competing for our attention, for our beliefs, for our destiny. We either believe in the limitations of our ability to execute, the limiting confines of established systems, the limiting notion of what we’ve been told is impossible or we invest in our vision, our wherewithal, our will to power, our certitude that if we can dream it, we can make it happen.
Steve Jobs had a reality distortion field. When in the tractor beam of his charisma and enthusiasm, the field of reality changed around him. Others became completely convinced that whatever he said could happen would happen.
Jobs dwelt in possibility. He proselytized with it! His team often found itself accomplishing feats of engineering derring-do thought by others to be impossible simply because they didn’t know they couldn’t. Steve dreamed it and they executed it — through possibility.
The world around us encourages us to dwell in limitation: a faltering economy, a loss of “greatness,” diminishing natural resources, shrinking budgets, sinking confidence, rising fears, the threat of terror, war, famine, climate change.
All of these Limitations are actually Possibilities when viewed from a different perspective, from a point-of-view that embraces these challenges as an opportunity to go outside our comfort zone, to imagine what could be instead of what is, to aspire to something more than we are and to rise beyond the limitations that have been established for us by others.
That’s why it’s called The Establishment: it builds the sandbox and allow us to play within its four walls. Most of the time, we’re even asking permission to play — like we need an invitation! I say, let’s build our own sandbox. Better yet, let’s think outside the (sand)box and play on the beach!
Anything is possible if you believe it is. The more resistance you get, the more naysayers you collect along the path, the more secure you can be in knowing you just might be on the right track.
Dare mighty things. Win glorious triumphs. Fail. But if you stop before your start, you’ve failed already.
Limitation vs. Possibility. Can you or can’t you? You decide.
Either way, you’re right.