A Can of Progress

by Dr. Graham

Published: Fri, 20 Mar 2015
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We start with an idea, but the details are fuzzy. We dream that we will learn to swim, or dance, or learn some specific move in some specific sport. We aspire to grow. Then, somehow, we get in our own way.

Trying the slackline
at Health & Fitness Week
We’ve all done it, we’re all guilty. We don’t even try this, that, or the next, because we are convinced we cannot possibly do whatever it is, we don’t have the speed, strength, endurance, agility, flexibility, balance, or whatever it is that is required. We experience fear: of injury, of ridicule, or of failure.

Balancing on slackline
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Somehow, someone convinces or goads us into trying and, lo and behold, we discover, completely to our surprise and amazement, that we actually can do the thing in question. “I did it,” is the typical exhilarated comment.

The thing of beauty is that, once performed, the skill in question is no longer an impossibility in our mind. Rather, the ability very rapidly becomes a given, an automatic yes. We grow, from not being able to visualize ourselves doing something to being adept at seeing ourselves performing the same thing.
Progress, apparently, comes in cans.
We become more aware of the details involved, gain peripheral vision, refine the movement, and even become able to demonstrate a bit of embellishment and flourish. We start to dream of doing even more. What held us back the most was the single thought, “I can’t.” Progress, apparently, comes in cans.
You may just find that you have more in you than you thought you did, that your capabilities can expand.

Apparently, we set limitations upon ourselves that simply do not exist. We surprise ourselves that we can. Granted, some of the hesitation to push limits may be considered as intelligent, self-preservation, and good common safety sense. But I’m not talking about jumping the Grand Canyon. I’m simply talking about a willingness, an eagerness, to take the next step, and the next, and the next. Achievements are exhilarating, and every form of growth and improvement is an achievement.

Deadlifting more than her weight
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I encourage you to push the limits, safely, but nevertheless push against the edges of your performance abilities.

You may just find that you have more in you than you thought you did, that your capabilities can expand. Expect the best. Be like The Little Engine That Could.
Do your preparation, and when you know you are ready, repeat to yourself:
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

Soon enough, that mantra will change to:
“I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.”


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