Limits? Cheers 2 the Crazies, Misfits, and Rebels!

Limits? Crazy Pineapple in love by Pineapple Supply Co CC0 Public Domain from Unsplash

There are peo­ple why say peo­ple should nev­er use the word “can’t”, “don’t” or oth­er words that gen­er­ate neg­a­tive thoughts. In one way they are right. It cre­ates very neg­a­tive atti­tudes and these thoughts can stop you from achiev­ing any­thing in your life. But in anoth­er way there is a dif­fer­ence between know­ing what you can and can’t do. It’s not about neg­a­tiv­i­ty, but know­ing your per­son­al lim­its.


Can’t do That


Question by Emily Morter CC0 Public Domain from UnsplashHave you ever heard some­one say “I could nev­er do that”? Truth is it is not that they can’t. They sim­ply have no desire to. They have set per­son­al lim­its. Per­haps they fear doing it. If they had any real desire then they would sim­ply do it. Truth is most skills are learn-able, with some degree of effort.


Some skills are less appeal­ing than oth­ers, lets face it com­put­er pro­gram­ming or becom­ing a doc­tor is not for every­one. Over­all soci­ety will have enough peo­ple with each skill that we don’t have to wor­ry about gain­ing those skills, unless we wish to. When we need to get some­thing done, there are nor­mal­ly peo­ple around us, with rel­e­vant skills. All we need to do is ask. This is cer­tain­ly true in the cor­po­rate world, when you need a project com­plet­ed. It my be less true when you are self-employed, but still options do exist.




My first year at law school, I thought the lec­tur­ers were try­ing to kill me.” A stu­dent once told me. “Every night, I had more read­ing and more course­work than I could pos­si­bly com­plete.” Fun­ny, I went to the same law school as this stu­dent, but didn’t feel the same pres­sure. True, there was always some­thing to read, but it was a mat­ter of pri­ori­tis­ing that work. Lec­tur­ers con­stant­ly empha­sised the need­ed to pre­pare for the next class, read­ing this case or anoth­er case. It is true they did push the bound­aries, but it is always up to the stu­dents to know what their lim­its are and work accordingly.

The first lec­ture was the worst. In that lec­ture hall on the first night there were near­ly 500 stu­dents. All the seats tak­en, peo­ple sit­ting in the aisles, on the floor near the stage, on the steps to the stage, and every­where the was some square footage. In a cou­ple of cas­es one stu­dent was sit­ting on the knee of anoth­er. By the end of the first year about 60 or 70 stu­dents remained, the rest had decid­ed there was too much pres­sure and sim­ply stopped attend­ing. The uni­ver­si­ty had lim­its too. That first year was nec­es­sar­i­ly hard, to remove those who were less than seri­ous about the course.

What Shaped You?

Shapely from dreamstime CC0 Public DomainWhat shaped you into the per­son you are today? It is large­ly the expe­ri­ences you have had in your life. No mat­ter how long of short that is. When you look back at your life, it does not per­sist of a long list with ticked items for the things we have done or emp­ty box­es for things yet to do. Our life expe­ri­ences are also impact­ed by the actions of others.
There was a doc­u­men­tary on TV about Apol­lo 13, the space craft that had a major inci­dent. It nev­er land­ed on the moon. Yet I think about that event, to me it is more mean­ing­ful than the first moon land­ing because it was about how all those involved worked togeth­er to get that crew home. They lived in freez­ing con­di­tions for most of the trip to pre­serve ener­gy. That 1 minute 27 sec­onds of extra radio silence had the whole world on edge, bit­ing their nails. The crew sur­vived because of the work of the teams that sup­port­ed them through the flight.
We may be the sum of our per­son­al expe­ri­ences, but we also learn from the expe­ri­ences of oth­ers around us. It is true we may not have expe­ri­enced it, but it does allow peo­ple some knowl­edge in set­ting their limits.

Half read Books

I have a lot of half-read books, but I am cer­tain­ly not unique there. All the fic­tion books read. Often more than once. It is the fac­tu­al books that are dif­fer­ent. I pick one up, know­ing it has some infor­ma­tion I wish to use. Locate that, read (or re-read) the rel­e­vant sec­tions, then put the book away for future use. A book can sit for decades, indeed is could also do so for cen­turies and still be use­ful to the per­son pick­ing it up and read­ing it. The point is to have it when need­ing infor­ma­tion. The age of the book should only mat­ter if there are more recent advances. Those don’t, nec­es­sar­i­ly, make the book useless.
London’s The Hon­ourable Soci­ety of the Inner Tem­ple has a fan­tas­tic legal library, which I once explored. What is the old­est pub­li­ca­tion they have, I asked myself. I dis­cov­ered a bound a bound copy of  the record of Par­lia­men­tary debates dat­ing from the 1650s, which I select­ed from the shelf. From which, I could the read the words of Eng­lish rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader Oliv­er Cromwell, the Lord Pro­tec­tor of the Com­mon­wealth. Per­haps this edi­tion should have only been looked at wear­ing white cot­ton gloves, but it was their in the library for any­one to see and read. I did treat the book with respect.

What do you make of it?

Limits? Your place to liveTruth is we all make choic­es dur­ing the course of our lives, they can­not always good ones. We err, it is a part of the learn­ing process. Errors made should not set the lim­its, they should help us learn. What oth­ers think of us shouldn’t mat­ter. Often though it does, and it can also impact our lives. You may know you are the ide­al can­di­date for a job, but if you are not select­ed for an inter­view and there­fore have no oppor­tu­ni­ty of explain­ing why you are.
Don’t beat your­self up for not being able to do it. Don’t let oth­er peo­ple beat you up for it either. I am sure some­one some­where has lived a per­fect life, not so, for the major­i­ty of us. Inter­ac­tion helps make life hap­pen. There are times we stub our toe, doing mun­dane chores. Then we make the impos­si­ble work against all odds. That is a part of the capa­bil­i­ty we have in us. Any per­son can be ordi­nary or great, often at the same moment.
Of course, we can help the course of our own lives along the way. We plan ahead and pri­ori­tise. We must also realise that we can’t do every­thing. I have how­ev­er met many small busi­ness own­ers who try. They don’t have a choice. If they want to get things done they have to do it that way. It means they are the vision­ary as well as the clean­er. If they don’t, there is no-one else. But even there, most know their lim­its and get assis­tance where necessary.

Personal Limits

Each of us should know them as well. I could re-wire a house, but will nev­er touch water or gas pipes. I know how elec­tric­i­ty works. The first time I worked on elec­tri­cal wires I was 12 and the volt­age was 240. But for my love of soft­ware at the age of 19, I may have been an elec­tri­cian instead of get­ting into busi­ness through IT. Each choice we make takes us along a dif­fer­ent path, none is right, nor are they wrong, they are sim­ply different.
I am not say­ing peo­ple should not try new things. Of course they should. The bound­ary for some peo­ple is unknown. For oth­ers, it is dis­cov­ered by doing things, see­ing what is pos­si­ble. I have climbed moun­tains and abseiled back down, but will not bungee jump, because I am the per­son for whom the rope breaks at full stretch.
I once met a would-be Ever­est climber, supreme­ly fit, had climbed all the major peaks in Europe. Their prob­lem start­ed the moment they arrived at Ever­est Base camp. They could not breathe in the extreme high alti­tude of the Himalayas It was all phys­i­o­log­i­cal and worse there was noth­ing they could do about it. Their only way up Ever­est was with breath­ing appa­ra­tus, not fun, and not recommended.


Bud by JoBeeOneTwo CC0 Public Domain from PixabayShould peo­ple set unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions for them­selves? Yet there are plen­ty of peo­ple that do. Inno­va­tors reach beyond the sky and right­ly so. with­out inno­va­tion we fail to enhance our­selves as a species. Truth is the per­son who wants it bad­ly enough would just do it! For most oth­er peo­ple there are limits.
Many peo­ple are fine with know­ing their lim­its and stay­ing inside them. Do these peo­ple achieve any­thing? Of course they do. It may be less than inno­va­tors, but what they do still mat­ters. But, it is okay if that is what they want. Even super achiev­ers, every once in a while, just sit back and just go along for the ride. Many peo­ple are scared, wor­ried, inse­cure, or are clue­less about what their future can hold. That is okay. Each of these emo­tions are valid and tend to dri­ve peo­ple down well-trod­den paths, because it is what they know. Each per­son needs to know how they func­tion best.
The option to branch out and do the unex­pect­ed is always avail­able. Take it when you desire it.

The Decision

Decid­ing you won’t do some­thing is dif­fer­ent from ignor­ing it. One option is, always, to get some­one else to do it for you, the skilled pro­fes­sion­al. Our world is built around that abil­i­ty to call in the right per­son when we need them. The car mechan­ic we call when the car sounds fun­ny. The pho­to­copy engi­neer when the copies are dark. The same is true for cut­ting edge projects, it helps you achieve your goal. The home own­er for exam­ple can update their entire house, and do it cost effec­tive­ly pro­vid­ed they know their per­son­al lim­its. The jobs they can­not com­plete them­selves are farmed out to some­one else.
If, you think you can’t do it because:
  • You’re afraid.
  • It makes you uncomfortable.
  • It might not work.

Per­haps it is best not to try. They are your lim­its and you decide what they are.


There’s a bet­ter way that is why there are spe­cial­ists avail­able that can help achieve each step that you are unable to take. There are many things I have no desire to do. I am com­fort­able with that. There are also many things I would like to do. How to make those hap­pen is a chal­lenge, yet to be undertaken.


It may sound too sim­ple but it is true. If you per­ceive it, then it is pos­si­ble. Want to be a movie star? Then you have to do what is nec­es­sary to make it hap­pen, pro­vid­ed you can put your­self in front of the right peo­ple. Trou­ble is, the world is full of obsta­cles. There are few things we are inca­pable of, should we tru­ly desire it. Desire can cer­tain­ly be a pow­er­ful thing. If we put in the effort then we are capa­ble of suc­ceed­ing with when­ev­er it is human­ly pos­si­ble. Get­ting oth­ers to co-oper­ate with you is anoth­er matter.


What is Necessary?


Peo­ple, are fre­quent­ly the obsta­cle of their own abil­i­ties. How can you suc­ceed if you have no real desire to? Have you heard that before? This may be one of the rea­sons peo­ple set­tle for sec­ond best and make a suc­cess of that. Not the direc­tion this piece was intend­ed to look at, but was inevitable that it would be reached.


This explo­ration of “can’t” was not in the con­text of lack of want, but in know­ing your lim­its. The inven­tive spir­it is avail­able to us all. We sim­ply have to come up with a great idea com­bined with the desire to fol­low through with it. Recog­nis­ing that an idea is great can be prob­lem­at­ic. This is a great stum­bling block for most people.


Take the exam­ple of dat­ing web­sites. There are thou­sands already avail­able. To enter the mar­ket with a new one is pos­si­ble, there is ready-made soft­ware, which you can tweak with­out spend­ing a for­tune. But the chal­lenge is always — what is dif­fer­ent about your intend­ed offer­ing? What will help you stand out from the crowd? Solve that and maybe you can head a new wave of trend-setters.


Crazies, Misfits, and Rebels


This is why I’m attract­ed to being “crazy” in the best sense of the word. Here’s to the trou­ble-mak­ers, cra­zies, mis­fits, and rebels of the world, (he rais­es a glass of ale to each and every one of them). They share a strong desire to right wrongs, and put square pegs into round holes. Each, sen­ti­ments, I approve of. The peo­ple who see things dif­fer­ent­ly are the very peo­ple I wish to be around. Not fond of rules? No respect for the sta­tus-quo? I applaud you — push a lit­tle more, we need it!


Quote them, dis­agree with them, glo­ri­fy, or vil­i­fy them all you wish. The only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they are pre­pared to alter things, build new tech­nol­o­gy, stretch thought, and go a lit­tle fur­ther. They push the human race for­ward in one direc­tion or anoth­er. And while some may see them as insane, we should see genius. The very peo­ple who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the only ones who can.


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