You will never know your true potential until you push yourself to the point of failure.
I wonder what I could have accomplished in my life if I had only tried a little harder, pushed myself a little farther.
Do you sometimes wonder what you are truly capable of achieving?
Like most people, I love to read and hear stories about people who have overcome great obstacles and adversity to do something amazing. I admire people who determined to keep trying, over and over, despite repeated failures, to create something they knew was possible if they just kept experimenting and pushing themselves a little harder. People like Thomas Edison, who never gave up in his attempts to create the light bulb, or Roger Bannister, who knew in his heart that he was capable of running a sub-four-minute mile, are sources of great inspiration to us all.
When we hear stories like these, they touch some deep place within us. They stir up a longing and a question. The longing is to do something equally impressive. The question is: “Am I good enough? Can I really do it?”
I believe we all have within us the potential to achieve so much more than we actually do. We can live our lives so much larger and add much more value to the world than we ultimately do for one simple reason: we simply do not try hard enough!
I am not saying that we do not try at all. I am saying that most of us do not try hard enough to discover and reach our true potential.
So the question is this: “How can we discover our full potential?”
The answer is: “We must push ourselves to the point of failure!”
You see, unless you push yourself to the point of failure, you do not know if you can do it.
I’ll use the example of the High Jump. The high jump is a Track and Field event in which a person attempts to jump over a bar, raised to a certain height, without knocking the bar off the stands. The bar is constantly raised to a point where no more competitors are capable of clearing it without knocking it off. The person who clears it at the highest point is the winner.
Suppose you are practicing for the High Jump. If you set the bar at a certain height and are able to clear it, that makes you feel good. You accomplished the goal of jumping that height. Now, suppose you decide to not raise it any higher because you might knock it off, which would frustrate you, or be embarrassing, or make you feel like a failure. Leaving it at a height you can comfortably jump over may keep you from failing, but you will never discover just how high you are capable of jumping. The only way to discover your true jumping potential is to continue to raise the bar higher and higher to the point of failure.
The world record for the High Jump, just for the record, is 2.45 meters (8.03 ft), set by Javier Sotomayor, of Cuba, in 1993! You can watch him do it in this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWde8sMxe1w
In what areas of your life are you “hiding” in your comfort zone because you are afraid to fail? We all do it in various ways and at different times in our lives. Failure is painful. More painful, I think, is looking back on our lives knowing we could have been, done, and given more if we had only tried a little harder.
The world needs you to live your life to your fullest potential, but you will never know just what that potential is unless you push yourself to the point of failure! Be brave! Set the bar a little higher and jump!
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