I have been thinking about limitations and have asked the question – am I holding myself back? Do I put limitations on myself, what I can do, what I can achieve? As we get older and enter the retirement phase of life, it is time to re-evaluate our purpose and place in the world. By the world I mean, in relationships and community. If I see myself as “getting older” and no longer having as much value, I am limiting myself. This is the first limitation.
Defining ourselves by age limits our potential. As we know a 60-year-old can look and behave older and a 70-year-old can look and behave younger. If I look in the mirror, particularly, that one with good light, I can see a few wrinkles. But again, we cannot be defined by our wrinkles or as I prefer to call them “character lines”.
I was reminded of self-imposed limitations when reading about a woman who is living life without limitations. Her name is Heather Lee, OAM. Heather is 92 years old and is New South Wales Senior Australian of the Year. She started walking late in life, in her late 70’s. In 2011 Heather, just before her 85th birthday participated in the Australian Masters games. She won four gold medals. In Track and Field Championships Heather now holds eight Australian and five world records. She is an inspiration! I like what Heather said about ageing “I never define myself by age and never define anyone else by age, because getting old is an achievement”. Heather’s profile was written up in the January 2019 edition of Senior Toowoomba magazine. Read more about her story here on page 11.
Then there is Gwyn Perkins, inspired by his grand-daughter, became a writer in his 70’s. When he was 76 years old his book A Walk in the Bush was named Picture Book of the Year in 2018 by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Initially, Gwyn may have placed limitations on himself but fortunately he overcame these and has bought joy to thousands of children.
What things do I want to achieve this year? What do you want to achieve in 2019? It is a good idea if you and I don’t put too many limitations on ourselves. Time to think BIG. Time to take risks. What if I set myself a goal and I fail? I have realised that letting failure hold me back from achieving my life goals is putting limitations on myself. If I start at 1 with the intention to make it to 10 will I make it? Maybe I will only make it to 5 (half-way). I am convinced that it is better to make it half-way then never starting at all, never taking a risk.
These are two quotes I am going to contemplate over the next week to encourage me to live beyond my self-imposed limitations. Maybe, you would like to do the same?
If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work, and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them – Bruce Lee.
Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows – Pope Paul VI.