Sunday, 6 September 2020

Accepting Our Limitations

 We have been told our entire life's that our abilities are unlimited. We can achieve anything if we only set our minds to it. Reach for your dreams, achieve your ambition, strive for success. Don't settle for anything less!

But most people do settle for less, we find that not everyone can be good at everything. We have limits and we find that hard to admit. We should be better than that, we should be able to overcome whatever is put in front of us. We should be able to overcome our own limitations. But we often find that we cannot.

Instead we find that often our limitations define us as much as our successes do and we hate it. But there is the honest truth, we are defined by our limitations because we really do have them. In reality our dreams cannot always be reached, our ambitions are not achieved and while we can strive for success it is no guarantee of success. Certainly we do succeed, but life is not all success. It's a hard lesson, but it seems that we all get to learn it.

Maybe we have gone about this all wrong, maybe we should have accepted our limitations all along. I'm not talking about defeatism, or despair. They are part of our limitations. I'm talking about being realistic, which is hard because it can easily go into defeatism and despair. Everyone is good at something, no one is bad at everything. It is about defining what we are good at and what we are bad at. It is about being realistic.  

Once that has been done we can accept our limitations, which frees us to concentrate upon those things that we are good at. Accepting our limitations is not about limiting ourselves but but liberating ourselves.

People, individually and in groups have limitations, it does not make them bad or stupid or incompetent. It simply makes them human. It also makes decisions and public policy easier as we can concentrate on what works instead of concentrating upon what should work. We find too often that there is too much emphasise on trying to achieve some impossible goal, when we could achieve success by being more modest, or should that be more realistic.

This is not about saying that better can never be achieved, it is not about saying near enough is good enough. No it is about being realistic. By accepting our limitations we can do better because we can actually achieve success.

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