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Be Realistic: There Is No Limit to What You Can Do
Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE
Have you ever thought about what you could do, if you really decided to?
I'm not merely talking about what your skills, education and talents are capable of. I'm talking about what is really possible for you.
There is a very real possibility that you can do virtually anything. Not alone, not with out new information, but certainly within your ultimate grasp.
Now many people would say to me, "Jim, be realistic. Some things are just not possible." To them I say, a realist is simply a pessimist who doesn't want to admit it. I've never heard a "realist" take an optimistic posture on any topic. They always say, "Let's be realistic." and then go on to explain why your idea can't be done.
Imagine a realist saying, "Realistically, we don't yet know what the possibilities are. This could be easier than we think!" Better, eh?
One thing I have learned over the years is that luck really does come to those who commit to a goal. Scientists and philosophers call it "synchronicity." It is when things come together in an unexplainable way to help you reach your destination. Sometimes you just happen to meet someone who has the answer you need or shares your interests. At other times it is written off as "timing" or blind luck.
I don't see it that way. I believe that there are some universal principles at work which most people miss. There have been references to this phenomenon in philosophical and religious literature throughout history. Without waxing poetic, here is what goes on.
When any person makes a decision to bring about a certain outcome, the entire universe starts the process of making it happen. As long as the person persists in the belief that they are creating the desired result, the process continues. When doubt, hatred, or fear dominate the person, the process stops and other forces direct the world's energies in other positive directions. This is why there is "power" in positive thinking.
Sometimes we express a strong desire and the result occurs immediately. We call this a miracle. At other times we strive long and hard without visible progress. The operative word there is "visible". There are too many elements in the world for us to be conscious of how they all interact. But the moment we decide to do what it takes to create a result, the universe bends toward us to assist. This continues unless we do something to stop the process.
That is why I say there is nothing you can't do. There are things that might not be worth doing but almost anything can be done somehow. To do such things requires a certain state of mind. It requires optimism, determination, clarity, love for all mankind and humility. Optimism is the only productive way to think. Not pollyanna blind faith in spite of the facts, just the continuing belief that there is a way and that you will ultimately find it. Determination is to do what is necessary even if it is not convenient, if you are not in the mood, if it takes more than you expected, and if it is not fair, meaning that you have to contribute more than others.
Clarity of focus is essential in order to activate things in your favor. So goal setting in writing is essential to get things going. The clearer your focus, the more compelling your influence becomes. When you believe unflinchingly in your cause, others will be drawn to you.
Love of all humanity means respect for the dignity of and sensitivity to the needs of others. Contrary to Gordon Gekko's line in the movie Wall Street, greed does not work, because it separates you from others. Only love and respect will connect you to all who might ultimately help.
And finally, humility. The biblical way of expressing this thought is, "Not my will, but Thine, be done." If we realise how little we know, we will be a lot more humble. Emerson said, "Desire is possibility seeking expression." If you truly want something, the possibility of it surely exists. That does not mean that it is a good idea for you. It just means that it could happen. But if you are dedicated to achieving something deeply and sincerely, then it is incumbent upon you to pursue it.
Where the problems arise is when we decide that we already know what it will take to do the job. Far too many variables exist for us to really "know" what it takes in any instance. So we must move forward based on what we know, while listening to the messages the world is sending us. We sometimes find that an even better outcome is available to us through a simple change in direction. At other times we simply need to learn the lesson life has to teach us at a given point and then move on in a new direc tion. We never know how valuable that life lesson will be later on as we pursue a greater goal.
So I encourage you to be realistic, there is no limit to what you can do.
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