• Eric Dahl

Are We Limited?

We face many limits in our daily lives from credit limits, speed limits, limits in math, limits of knowledge, limits of success and limits of opportunity. Some limits are imposed upon us by the government, the company we work for or our bosses. Even the internet and our e-mail can limit us on the number of e-mails we can have or the limit the number or size of images we can save. Some limits are for our own good and designed for our public safety like the speed limits, which I am sometimes challenged to follow. I fear that the most divisive limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Recently I interviewed a very talented young artist who felt that he couldn’t perform his music out live because of backing band and electronics required to pull off the Live Performance. Essentially, he was allowing the limits of the original music he created keep him for creating a stripped down on newer acoustic version that he could tour with and back his album. I have created my own limits as well with my creative outlets fearing that I can only do an interview here or who the audience is or if enough people will see, hear it or even care. The funny thing about limits, much like defeating our fears, is once you surpass a few you start to realize that you should stop creating limits for yourself. Another artist I interviewed a month or so ago desired to start a Podcast but saw limitations in who the listeners would be, finding sponsors to support it and a strong outlet to promote it to listeners. Perceived limits, like fears, keep us from even trying to push those boundaries. How can we possibly know who the sponsors, listeners or outlets could be until we create it in the first place and see what listeners and fans want? I believe that most limits are false constructs that we have created in our minds built on doubts and insecurities about ourselves and abilities. We all have them and none of us are perfect. But accepting limits as a reality before we have even push on them is a bad choice and keeps us from reaching potential better things in life. Whether that is a new and better job, a small business, going to the gym, eating better, not smoking, or the ability to save for a family vacation. Sometimes it takes someone from outside the box to point out what is past our limits. It has happened to me and sometimes constructive criticism can sting. But if that advice forces us to consider options outside of our comfort zone and beyond our personal limits then it is a positive factor. Part of the preparations required to exceed limits are mindful planning, goal setting and being realistic (to a degree). Most things in my life that I have truly wanted to achieve, and I have given my full focus and attention I have exceeded by pushing past my limits. When I accepted the TV promotion to Las Vegas many people assumed I would fail and go back home, because I was pushing my limits. Same thing happened when I told folks that I was going to write and publish a book when I had never done that before. It was one helluva learning curve that took many hours of work, research, phone calls and rejection from publishers, but with persistence I achieved it. Country music duo Smithfield achieved a record deal earlier in their career only to have the company go under and take their songs with them. Did they give up after they hit the limit and move back to Texas? No, they launched a Kickstarter push and released a self-titled EP on their own. Look where they are out now with a new album and a big tour. We may not always exceed our limits the first time. It may require failure, setbacks and adversity. But once we have survived the harder times then hitting our goals and exceeding our limits are all the more sweeter. How bad do we want it and what are we willing to sacrifice to go beyond a boundary? Legally imposed limits, like taxes and the IRS, yes, we must all live with those. Self-created internal limits are not law and they do not require us to abide by them. Don’t allow your own limits to keep you from reaching the good stuff.

Life is a curvy road but don't Limit It!