On Limitations

I have written before on such themes as gifts, bucket lists, and so on, the importance of which I cannot stress. However, realistically in developing gifts or pursuing goals we likely will face limitations. The obvious one is money but there are others.

When I was 16, among other things I wanted to become a professional baseball player. As time passed, though, it became clear that I was limited by average ability and did not have the financial wherewithal to go to baseball camps to build on my skills. So I didn’t pursue it. Similarly, I did play basketball but again faced some limitations in terms of skill and, eventually, size.

The God of my understanding does indeed bless us with gifts but as St. Paul notes, not all of us have every gift. I stand in wonder when I hear my daughter play her French horn or watch my wife perform on stage. Those are not my gifts and I have to accept that.

And yet….and yet. How often to I allow fear to present itself as apparent limitations? I diddled around for some years with my writing, fearing that I lacked that gift and wasting time in the process. I put off certain goals, believing that limitations would prevent me from pursuing them. Thus, for example, I waited until I was 51 to run my first marathon, deciding that age was NOT a limitation.

There is a tension between the poles of being a realist and being a dreamer. Some of us tend toward the dreamer side, pursuing goals that are out of reach and hurting others in the process. Others of us tend toward realism and take no risks, defining ourselves in terms of limitations.

I would invite you then to take inventory of yourself in terms of this tension between realism and dreaming and see where you fall. And as you consider possible limits, allow yourself to be challenged by Alexey Romanov.