We all live with limits. And yet, we love words and phrases like 'Limitless' and 'No Limits!' and 'Without Limits!' There are movies, T shirts and businesses that choose such phrases as names. It can seem like a great ideal, and a liberating thought. But let's think a little more deeply.
We need to make a distinction between artificial limits, or false limits, and real ones. We wrongly think we have many limits that we don't have at all. And we impose on ourselves artificial limits all the time that hinder and hold back what could be our genuine excellence, and a more expansive experience of life.
I've been having some related thoughts come to me this week. Let me lay out a few here, together, aphoristically, for your consideration.
Artificial limits are weaknesses. Natural limits are strengths. They give us structures to build on, and a form to build within. Some can be extended, and expand the borders of our strength. Some can't, but form the often hidden foundations for who we are and can be.
All limits give form and structure. To live without them would be impossible - it would be to live without any form or structure. But to live with too many limits, or the wrong ones, restricts you, constrains you, and holds you back needlessly. It shrinks your life.
You have to free yourself from artificial limits to find your natural and empowering structures.
The right limits liberate and give you a place to stand.
The limits that are freeing and empowering are those that arise from the shape of your distinctive talents, your best choices, and your highest commitments.
My dogs have a big fenced in backyard. They often go to the fence and poke their noses through the uprights to bark at another dog, or a jogger, or almost anything. The fence limits them. But it protects them as well. And it gives them the power to move and play vigorously without fear. It provides them an expansive area in where they can't be harmed by cars, or other dangers.
That's almost a trivial example. But it shows in one small way that not all limits are bad.
The best limits come from your wisest decisions, the ones that chart your proper path forward in life. You can't do everything. You shouldn't even want to. Some things are just not right. Others aren't right for you, at least, not now.
When we shed the wrong limits and embrace the right ones, we flourish. If that's a new thought, I hope you can use it well.