A question I often hear is: can we really overcome our limitations? Is it useful to think it is possible? Or does it just lead us to delude ourselves? Does it mean being inconsiderate? Can it lead us to frustration?
We are all limited both concretely as well as mentally. Whether our mental boundaries
are narrow or extremely broad, they are present anyway: we cannot deny this fact. The flexibility of such limitations always provides ground for debate.
Scholars who study the brain are divided among those who support an almost unlimited neuroplasticity and others who hypothesize that our brain’s “wiring patterns” are substantially stable over time and thus cannot be changed (have a look at this site). While from a theoretical point of view this issue is still debated, it is irrelevant on a more individual and pragmatic note. Even if it were true that we are all more or less limited in terms of developing our potential, what really matters is the way in which we decide to treat our limitations and our strengths.
The way we look at ourselves makes all the difference. Our beauty, when we look at ourselves, is in our own eyes.
There are al least four ways people can look at themselves, their strengths and limitations:
- Denying themselves: people who adopt this attitude don’t look at themselves, tend to look away, don’t care about their growth because they deem it impossible
- Surrendering to themselves: people who adopt this attitude look at themselves with distrust and do not like what they see. They indulge in self pity and think that improvement is too demanding
- Managing themselves: these people look at themselves, accept what they see and try to make the best out of what they have
- Being open to themselves: these people adopt a curious way of looking at themselves, are open to possible evolutions and willing to compel themselves (and to be amazed) too
English is one of my limitations. Over the years, such limitation has become studded with all sorts of rational and reasonable certainties, for example that in order to be proficient in a foreign language, one needs to learn it at a young age or that it is impossible to use a foreign language in a job, like mine, in which choosing “the right word” is so important.
That’s all true. That’s all false.
I discovered two important things. The first is that English facilitates communication rather than complicating it. It helps me to be more direct and straightforward. More honest. It forces me to use a concise style and it frees me from that cultural “viscosity” that often limits communication exchanges between people speaking the same language.
The second thing is that English is capable of moving me deeply. I am thrilled by the possibility of moving beyond my (present) boundaries.
I often hear people using the relay race metaphor, especially when speaking of working groups. One carries the baton and hands it over to the next person who will, in turn, pass the baton over after having run his/her leg…Today I want to think of life as a relay race with oneself.
Every day you are handed the baton over by your old self from yesterday. Do your best and you will pass it over to your new self, tomorrow. You can complain about how the baton got to you, how your old self run the race and about the point you started from or you might as well grab that baton and put yourself to test each day.
This is also to welcome the English version of our website.