Each morning when I fire up my laptop I am greeted with the tagline “explore without limits”, which is a nice concept. However, in reality there are limits, particularly where humans are concerned. We are faced with limits both physically and mentally. We often hear about people who complete great physical challenges because they are able to push through the pain and “will” themselves to finish and yes I’m sure that on that particular day, they felt like they had no limits. However, I’m not sure they could achieve that level of achievement every day, as at some point their body and/or mind would decide that it had had enough.
So how do we know what our limits are? Personally I see it as an individual thing and as we get older we recognise our limits. Whether it’s how many cocktails we can drink before we fall over, the level of stress we can cope with in our jobs, the distance we’re prepared to commute, how many chillies we can handle in our curries or the level of training we can put our bodies through before it breaks, we all have a point where we just can’t take anymore.
In our working lives, some people thrive on high pressure and long hours whereas others are more motivated by less stress and more free time to do un-work activities that they enjoy. The key is recognising what we desire and how we can achieve it, within our own physical and mental abilities. For example, we might want to earn a big salary but if we haven’t got the physical resources to work long hours, talent or the necessary drive, we might struggle to succeed in our aim.
Also our limits can change, when we’re fit and able we can cope with more training than when we’re just starting out on our fitness journey. Similarly when we’ve been working within a certain area for a while, we might be better equipped to handle the stress of the job than someone new. The key is knowing and setting our own personal limits to protect our physical and mental health. But don’t let your limits hold you back too much, don’t decide that you can’t possibly learn to swim/run a marathon/play a musical instrument without giving it a go. Know your limits so you can prevent physical and mental damage but don’t let the limits be so strict that they stop you from realising your potential.