Are you tall enough to succeed?

Fancy a Swim?

I’ve had an amazing week. I feel completely in over my head, which is brilliant. I’ve set various things in motion, asked people to do things which all drag me forwards, kicking and screaming into an unknown future. There’s a saying by T.S Eliot “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”, which is quite entertaining, however, there’s another favourite of mine which is “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”. It’s this second one that I particularly like, it succinctly demonstrates how a life full of measured, controlled situations is never going to allow you to reach your full potential.

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” — T.S. Eliot

I often feel like that. At university, I studied a course where the lecturers had a propensity to set an assignment that was way out of our league, then wander off to have coffee and practice their golf swing, whilst we looked at each other wondering what on earth we should be doing. Ultimately, they were there to support us if we needed them, we just had to seek them out with specific problems, but their style of teaching was to throw us in at the deep end and promptly vacate the lifeguard’s seat.

Ditch the Inflatable Armbands.

Either it was an effective policy, or it simply appealed to a deeper sense of adversity within me, because I, and those around me, all came together and learned how to escape the obstacles in our way. We had the environment required to resolve the assignment, we just had to find out how, on our own. At this point I feel slightly like an Anglican priest composing his Sunday Sermon, about to launch into a limp wristed expounding of how God’s love is like a carrier bag, because it holds us all in, safely, like a bag for life.

But I’m not a priest and I’m not even religious, I just feel that the quote by T.S. Eliot hits on something very true about pushing ourselves. We’re all floating around, we’re all paddling at some point, but some people gradually venture down to the deep end and some simply climb to the highest diving board and jump. All I can suggest is that you do whatever feels most uncomfortable, because it’s only when the slight panic of danger from being out of your depth comes around that life suddenly begins to opens up wider.