More Than You Think You Can
At some point you have been told you can do whatever you set your mind to. Maybe it was a high school guidance counselor. Maybe your parents. Maybe a youth pastor. Maybe a coach.
Or maybe by a motivational speaker that you only agreed to listen to because a friend goaded you into it or your boss made you.
The problem with the idea is that we all know it isn’t true.
I Can’t Do It
In case you haven’t figure it out yet, all of those people were wrong. You can’t do whatever you set your mind to.
There are physical limitations. There are laws of gravity. There are forces that oppose us. We simply can’t do something just because we decide we want to.
I can’t dunk a basketball. At 6 feet nothing and slow as molasses, I never had a shot at the NBA.
I can’t run a sub four minute mile. The closest I came was in high school at 5:30. Back then I had nothing else to worry about in my life but running, and running that slow was hard.
I can’t sit down today and write a best selling novel. I can write, and some might even call it a novel. But I don’t possess the skills to write the kind of story that millions would want to read.
I can’t start a new multi-billion dollar tech company. I don’t even know how to customize my website beyond the basics. I certainly don’t know how to run a company.
I can’t do these things. And it is ridiculous to think I ever will be able to do them.
In the movie Lone Survivor, the opening credits show you video clips of the infamously tough training of the U.S. Navy Seals.
Men are asked to do things that seem humanly impossible. They are kept in water that is much to cold. They are asked to carry things that are much too heavy. They are kept underwater without oxygen for much too long. They are forced to run much too far much too fast.
And then, after all of the too much they are asked to do, they are asked to do more of it.
The training, on the surface, appears cruel. Brutal. Inhumane.
The Voice in Their Heads
Those who survive the training to become a Navy Seal don’t learn that they can do whatever they set their mind too. As amazing as these men are, they have limits too.
What they learn is that they can do more than they thought they could. They learn that their mind gives up much sooner than their bodies.
Everyone recruit hears the same voice in their heads. In the middle of attempting what seems impossible, their minds scream no. Let me out. Enough. I don’t want this anymore.
Some listen to that voice and quit. They stop trying because it seems too hard. They walk away. What’s the point when it is impossible?
Those who become Navy Seals don’t listen. They take the next step. They make it to the next meal.
We Can Become
There are many things we can’t do. We know this. Thinking we can do anything we want is absurd.
But one thing we can always do is become. We can always take the next step. We can always be changing, and in the ways we set out to. We can go a little bit further today.
Most of us tell ourselves that we can’t. We can’t do more. We can’t push harder. We can’t take another step. We can’t endure another failure. We can’t withstand anymore hurt. We can’t go another day the ways things are now.
This is the voice in our heads screaming for us to quit. To give up. To move on. To stop becoming.
Becoming isn’t so much about what you can or can’t do. It is about simply doing today. It is about going one step farther. It is about engaging life.
Becoming doesn’t worry about what happened yesterday. It forgets the successes and failures. Becoming lets go of the expectations of tomorrow.
Becoming is based on the idea that all of us are capable of doing more than we think we can. (Tweet that)
Have you ever overcome a mental barrier?
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