Pushing Against Limits
So I learned how to swim this year. More or less anyways with a buddy of mine teaching me. It’s another limit surpassed. And I have surpassed quite a number of limits these past number of years. Public speaking, musical instruments, ‘musical’ performances, dancing, among others, in multiple continents. I’d like to think it gives me some small insight in the matters of testing your limits sure, but in this post, respecting your limits.
The author of Good to Great, Jim Collins put it in a nice term. The 20 mile march. Basically, no matter how strong or how weak you do your days work (20 miles), no more and no less. For the days you are weak, it pushes you to do the necessary, for the days you are strong and can do more, it enforces discipline so that you do not over extend yourself (40 miles say) while getting caught in an unanticipated snowstorm in a tired state.
The Dangers of Overextending
Now going back to respecting your limits. If you are learning to swim or climb rope as I have, there is a real life threatening danger. And if you try to swim to far into the deep end or climb too high, now you’re left in a new frontier with insufficient reserves. And odds are you die.
This is not to say to stay within the confines of your zone, quite the contrary, venture forth. But take account of not only the risk, but also the worst case scenario of the risk. What are the dangers of overextending? Can it still be accomplished, but over a longer time horizon? Because odds are whatever limit you are pressing against will take more then a day to accomplish.
20 miles at a time. Because there is a difference between bravery and greed.
Kingston S. Lim
1st October 2022