Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.”
- Richard Bach
Richard Bach is an author and a pilot. Didn’t we all read his book Jonathan Livingston Seagull as a child? I was just talking to my parents about that book last week. One of my brothers too. We had that book when I was growing up. I must have read it a million times. We all did. I will never forget the shades of blue on the cover, with a bird soaring to new heights, a lone white figure cutting through the blue. Now my children are reading it.
It is quick read, is filled with inspiration, and means something different every time it is read. A different yet equally meaningful passage jumps off the pages each time one thumbs through the story. Phrases that make you pause, involuntarily take your eyes off the page to gaze into the distance unseeing for a moment while the words work their way through your mind. And take root. Grow. Encourage. Stimulate.
If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It will renew your spirit if you let it. It is a book from the voice of a seagull named Jonathan. He is not like the other gulls, and as one could imagine, becomes a bit of an outcast as a result. But he continues doing what he loves best, flying fast and challenging himself more every day. Other seagulls merely fly to find food and eat. Jonathon forgets to eat, instead flies higher, harder, and faster to push himself, to find the joy and excitement of another horizon…one normally not visible until the boundaries are pushed. He learns to soar. And the gifts, once that is achieved, are worth the sacrifice. I enjoyed the book as a child, and am indebted to the dear friend that brought this book back into my life as an adult.
My daughter and I recently went on a college visit. We had a 2 hour car ride to get to the school, and she brought Jonathan Livingston Seagull to read out loud in the car. She had read it previously, but wanted to read it again. Together. So we read and talked. About life, about goals, about living your dream. About pushing through barriers, listening to your own voice, giving your dreams flight. Because as every great pilot understands, one must generate propulsion before flight. The engines have to start and run. The energy has to be present. You gotta walk before you run! You have to dream before you can accomplish. You must set goals, take steps, generate forward movement. Generate such propulsion that if someone dare step in the path of your dream, you can’t stop! You power forward and never let yourself or others stop dreams from becoming a reality.
Now sometimes it is easy to begin to generate that power, start heading forward in a positive direction, then get scared. Let our engine sputter out and die. Allow doubt to take seed and sprout. Sometimes, if we don’t stop ourselves, be become our own worst enemy. Moving forward can be frightening, especially when you pick up speed. It is tempting sometimes to back off and accept defeat. But resist you must! Remember quotations like the one at the top of this post. You can talk yourself into limitations. Or talk yourself into soaring! Thomas Edison once said ”I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
As Richard Bach said, if you argue for your limitations, you own them. Don’t do it. I have fallen prey to this pitfall, and I curse myself once the realization of self sabotage hits me. Get those negative thoughts out of there to make way for positive movement. Propulsion. Forward with force. Believe in yourself. Don’t let others tell you that you cannot achieve your dream. I try to use all tools possible to keep moving in the right direction. Sometimes that is as simple as this: when I see a great quote that is meaningful, that speaks to me, that propels me, I print it out or write it down. I then put it someplace around where it is visible, whether it’s in my office at work, on my bathroom mirror at home, or taped to the kitchen fridge.
Positive thinking is critical to wellness. So important to good health. A good outlook and a happy disposition can be life changing. Turn that negative voice into one that accepts no borders, no obstacles. Don’t allow limits to stop you. Dream. And dream big. Start your engines, get ready and allow yourself to be propelled forward. Soar into your visions, your goals, your future! And leave those limits behind! Everything is achievable. Put aside those limitations-don’t make them yours. And allow the good health to wash over you. I end with another Richard Bach quote to ponder and inspire:
“You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.”