Are your assumptions limiting your possibilities?
Humans can’t fly to the moon.
The human body can’t run a mile in under 4 minutes.
Women are too emotional to be leaders.
The sun revolves around the earth (which is flat.)
Telephones are only for talking and listening.
Animal species never change.
Black people are inferior to white people.
I(Margie) can never run 10 miles.
Some of these assumptions had the force of science behind them. Others just the force of habit. All of them seem ridiculous in retrospect.
And the only reason any of them collapsed was because someone had the courage to challenge to the status quo; to push back on “the truth,” to part with tradition and to ask questions about why things are the way they are, and how they might be instead.
Courageous thinking, from Martin Luther King’s calls for justice to Henry David Thoreau’s blunt naturalism, involves risk. It can make people very uncomfortable, invite criticism (if not outright ostracism) and at minimum, be unsettling for all those firmly attached to their way of viewing the world. But courageous thinking is also what propels our lives, and our society, forward.
Earlier this year I did a 10 mile run. Up until I began training a couple months earlier I’d never run more than 3 miles (and that was only once!) I just didn’t think my body was made for running. But I was willing to try to prove myself wrong, and alas, I certainly did. Next goal: half marathon!
Sometimes when we think out side the box, we get it wrong. Sometimes when we take risks, we fail. And sometimes, despite our very best efforts to achieve an outcome, we fall short. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to try. What matters most is that we work to embody the kind of courage that stirs the spirit and inspires us to think bigger about what is possible, and to inspire others to do the same.
In the last few weeks I’ve experienced a hurricane, an earthquake and, yesterday, flash flooding. I have no idea why. But what I do know is that the world is far more mysterious than I will ever be able to understand and that to live life fully, we need to embrace a sense of curiousity, adventure and never stop asking questions and challenging assumptions.
So, what assumptions are you going to challenge about your life this weekend?!
Be bold – your life will shrink or expand in proportion to your willingness to challenge what’s possible! What have you learned is possible for you? Share your comment below! You very well may inspire me! (and many more)