One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts. —Albert Einstein
We are all capable of much more than we realize. Most of us float through life, following the path of least resistance, never fully understanding our abilities. Part of this is due to how the world treated us: how many intelligent, bright kids were discouraged from following their dreams because of the words of a teacher, parent, or friend? I know this happened to me; throughout high school, I longed for a career in science, but I was repeatedly told that this just wasn’t a practical path for me to follow. Luckily my curiosity and desire to learn overcame the sting of my teachers’ disdain. Others can’t tell us what we are capable of doing – that’s something that we have to find out for ourselves.
But fear also stands in our path to greatness. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of what others will say. Fear of starting. Fear of greatness. Fear sometimes masquerades as laziness.
In the United States, we like to say with a shrug that some people are just “born with the talent” to do something like sports, music, math. But the truth is this: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. We’ve all seen people squander their talents, and we’ve all seen people defy the odds to accomplish their goals.
As the summer solstice approaches, consider your goals and dreams. Get of the way – give yourself permission to succeed.