“Your Only Limit is You”

Dr Soroush’s Take:

“”I read the motivational phrase:

“Your Only Limit is You”… and it made me think of this discussion I had with a young patient…

I asked John, at the young age of 22, about his life and where he wants to go? I asked him if there is any element of his life that he wants to improve?  And I hear his dreams.

It begins with a rupture.  He starts visualizing his goal.  It’s like a symphony; he starts to describe every piece, every bit of his story and it’s beautiful.

I have been fascinated by people’s responses about their future – where they are and where they want to go.

And I see the same pattern every time…

Watching people describe their dreams is like a feeling of triumph. It is an uplifting notion of achievement that necessitates departure from one’s comfort zone into a space that’s foreign and at times scary to us: our “dream.”

“Dream job”, “dream partner”, “dream house”, “dream investment”, “dream income”, “dream business” and the list goes on and on…

It has been realized by philosophers time and time again that one cannot gain a deeper understanding of life without first being separated from the daily routines that dominate human existence.  In essence, one cannot be content with merely passing through the hours in a lifetime without any intention of seeking for anything beyond pre-determined schedules and routines.

I ask John about his goals again as he starts to go on a tangent about the sports car he is planning to buy.  He knows the model, the horsepower, the manufacturers’ address and number of cars they manufacture every year. He has spent endless hours on YouTube watching videos of the car being driven.  He tells me about the income he is going to have, the car he is going to buy (and yes, being a male in his early twenties, he states bluntly that the car will be a ‘chick magnet’!!)  He tells me that he is going to earn $400,000 when he finishes his studies and he will travel the world.  It is then that I need to stop him, as he just cannot stop going on and on about what he is going to have.

I ask John, “So, what are you doing about achieving these goals?”

“I am at Uni and studying now”, he says proudly.

“What are you studying?  What year are you?”

“First year of Electrical Engineering.”

“That’s great mate.  Have you tried to work backwards and put a plan together?”

He looks at me blankly.  I look into his innocent eyes and I cannot bring myself to ruin his dream by highlighting how planning NOW is the foundation of his success in future.  (Neither can I bring myself to tell him how vain alot of his dreams are going to be in a few years.)

In saying this, he reminds me of me with all those dreams and all those goals!

I tell him that we would chat about this at another opportunity in the future and I leave it there.

And it makes me think again: “your only limit is you.” And I wonder what happens to all the Johns out there.  You ask every teenager and they tell you they are going to be achievers in the future.  They are going to earn the big bucks and they are going to achieve their dreams.  Yet, not many do though, which makes me think: why is that? I’ll come back to this…

It’s amazing how we change.  I remember those days when it was all about the sports car, the bigger house, the brand clothing, the fancy ‘look’.  It was not what I wanted though, in retrospect, it was all about what I thought people would think of me if I had those things.

I was living my life through a lens of others that I had created.

And then you grow old!!  And how amazingly you change!  For me it was very sudden.

Let me be clear here – it is not that I don’t appreciate those things anymore.  I still like to have a big house, I still enjoy driving a sports car (still on the bucket list!!!) and I still have ambitions, but now it is for me and not for what people think of me.  The intention is right and the ambition matches my life and what I can achieve for society and my community with those ambitions.

The ambition is not about how much money I can make now.  Instead, it is how can I make a change in the community with that money.  How can I serve my community, my patients and my family better with that money because I know the rest would follow if I get the intention right.

So I want to tell John to think about his ‘WHY.’  I want to tell him to get his “why” right and the “what” will follow…

Then there is YOU…

We feel confident and protected in our comfort zone.  Yet, if you want to achieve anything, you need to get out of your comfort zone.  Do you want that piece of paper? You need to dedicate time studying, sacrificing so much to get there.  Do you have a burning desire to start your own business?  Then there is the risk you have to take.  With every achievement, with every dream, there is the ‘jump’.  Are you ready to take the ‘jump’…?

This is a big topic … are you happy to take the jump? Why are you taking the jump? And are you planning your step to ensure you are going to land where you want to land?

To be continued …

I’ll see you next week …!!