Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Don't Quote

The only limits in our life are those we impose on ourselves.

– Bob Proctor

  This quote is the kind of thing that happens when people don't pay attention to language and precision of thought.  It sounds wonderfully grandiose.  But it's not true.

We have all kind of limits that are not self-imposed.  For starters, there are 24 hours in a day, none of us have superhero-worthy, mysterious powers, and we all have physical limitations imposed on us by our need for sleep, food, and air.

But more than that, there are limitations to our lives and ignoring them seems silly while blaming people for being affected by them seems snotty.  Limited money, limited job opportunities, a limited social network – these limits can be overcome, but while they are still there, they are still limits.  And we all have a finite number of resources which we can use to overcome our limits, so we can't overcome all of them, at least not all at once.

I think it is a myth that we can do anything we set our minds to.  It is the Great American Myth, so I suppose I seem unpatriotic.  I do agree that we can do most things we set our minds to.  But not everything.  Not all limits can be overcome.  It seems kinder to admit this, rather than having everyone who has failed (or not tried the impossible) think that it is his or her fault.

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