I’m not hung up on this theme, but this quote just inspired me this morning. I got this quote from one of the daily inspirational quotes emails that I get every day and it seemed worthwhile saving and writing about.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” (T.S. Eliot)
Elliot isn’t about taking stupid risks, like those depicted in the show Jackass; but, rather, about pushing yourself to get to the next level, to achieve a new personal best, to go as far as you can and then go farther. It is about overcoming personal fears that stop you short of achieving your goals in life. The sad truth is that too many people convince themselves that they cannot achieve those goals – they stop themselves short.
I have written here in the past about how athletes use visualization when preparing to make their next attempt at something – they “see” the success that they want to achieve. In terms of achieving your personal best you could say, “If you can see it you can be it”. The process of visualization of success unconsciously involves the visualization of overcoming any roadblocks to achieving that success. It allows the mind to tackle the thoughts about how to overcome those obstacles within the positive frame of mind of “seeing” the successful outcome.
Taking the risk to go too far is not the same as buying a lotto ticket and starting to dream about how you will spend the money if you win. You know that the odds of winning the lotto are just about impossible, so you really know that you are just daydreaming to amuse yourself. Taking the risk to push beyond where you are and get to the next level is a commitment. Even if you don’t achieve the end goal in the initial effort; once you try, you will be further along that path than you have ever been before, and you should celebrate that – you have achieved a new personal best.
More important than things like monetary goals or job position goals, one should always push the personal boundaries than constrain you from achieving the goals that the U.S. Army used as a tag line in their commercials – “Be the best that you can be.”
What is the best that you can be? Take the risk to find out. Take time at the end of each day to reflect on how you could have been a better person that day. Could you have reacted better to someone in need? Could you have spent more time with family? Could you have been more encouraging and supportive of a spouse or of your children? Could you have shown more love towards a neighbor or others. Don’t beat yourself up over those missed opportunities, just resolve to push beyond those mistakes and do better tomorrow. As a side benefit, you will find that you achieve many of your other goals in life, just by being the best person that you can be.
How far can you go towards being the best person that you can be?
Take the risk today and find out.