“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” Robert Browning

In Changing life, ego, Joy, Positivity, Productivity on May 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm

You, me and the entirety of our species has come a very long way. We’ve journeyed from the “swamp to the stars” and who knows where this century’s technological, cultural and economic changes will take us all next. Sometimes the course of our life demands and invites us to break the status quo, just like those cavemen hundreds of thousands of years ago. More often than not, this is a very hard thing to do, but sometimes the future depends on it if one is to develop and grow.

I’ve always thought limits are there to be broken.  Both to prove that they can be, but more importantly to give testament to one’s inate ability and creative power; to make real aspirations and to make ideas take root.

It’s by exceeding your grasp that your own life becomes an experience worth having and it’s by exceeding your grasp that the world continues to change and evolve every day.

But why should we strive for such lofty goals? Isn’t it just okay to stay put and more relaxing just to let things be as they are? Well, yes, if you want to settle for where you are, yeah. There is nothing wrong with that at all. As long as you are being true to yourself and deeper hopes.

But if there is something or some worthwhile goal you wish to start changing, setting yourself to do the best you can do is the place you need to start from, I’d suggest. At least make a commitment to yourself, and in the process of following through on this commitment, you’ll hopefully inspire and improve the experience of others as well.

Great tasks can bring out the best in you. Awaken your impulses, heighten your concentration, raise your sights and raise the stakes.

But they can also bring out fear, cold sweats and anxiety!

Robert Browning says exceeding your grasp leads to ‘heaven’. To bliss, delight and joy. Immersing yourself in a sensible and great challenge is a heaven. Try and focus on the end feeling, the experience of satisfaction and joy that accomplishing – or at least trying to do your best – will bring.

Savour the effort, don’t get railroaded by the fear and loathing.

Can you imagine, if MichaelAngelo had decided one day not to try his hand at painting to stick to sculpture, or go to painstaking detail to learn all about the intricacies of the human body so that his craft would be perfect and make his  works spring to life. Or if Einstein had decided to believe his cantankerous Greek teacher who said “nothing will ever become of you”, remained an average patent clerk and not studied physics in his spare time. Or if Siddhatta Gotama, a spolit prince and later the Buddha, had not decided to stretch the limits of his mind and emotions, in an effort to understand the depths of human nature, and improving the lives of millions for centuries to come?  The wealth of knowledge and beauty about ourselves would perhaps have been delayed for centuries, maybe even lost forever.

So, with whatever situation you might want to change in life, what Browning’s quote says is, take off your slumber and lethargy, awake from sleepwalking, ask yourself if you’re really doing the best you can, and throw your lot in with challenge, with effort, with opportunity and take a chance.

Let your path open up, and take you to places and experiences you’ll only begin to glimpse, when you exceed your grasp.


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