Mark Twain said:
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
Which brings up an interesting question…
Are the rules you live by, your limits and boundaries real or just assumed?
My daughter’s pre-school parent-teacher conference was going just swimmingly, until we got to the section on logic. Turns out, Jesse had been shown a bunch of pictures and asked to reveal what was wrong with each. She did great, save one glaring error.
Swimming in snow.
One of the pictures she was shown was an illustration of people swimming outside…in a snow-storm. The teacher was concerned because my daughter couldn’t find anything wrong with the picture. Clearly, people don’t swim outside when it’s Winter.
It took me a beat to figure out what was going on.
And, when I did, I realized it was the teacher whose mind was having the problem, not my daughter. You see, Jesse’s been on skis since she was 3 years old (she’s 6 now).
Every year, our entire extended family would venture out to Park City, Utah for a week of skiing and snowboarding. And, at the end of each day, we’d all jump into our bathing suits and run, screaming and shivering, into the giant outdoor, super-heated swimming pool and whirlpools. Having snow collect on our heads while we basked in the pool was not an unusual experience.
In fact, swimming in snowstorms was a tradition.
When I explained this to Jesse’s teacher, she realized that, to my daughter, there was nothing wrong with the drawing. Swimming in a snow-storm was not only possible, it was how she’d done the bulk of her swimming for her entire life. And, that made me wonder…
How many of the assumptions that limit my life are real?
And, how many are just constraints I’ve assumed into existence through my lack of personal exposure to possibilities beyond the norm?
It made me want to go out and kick the tires of my daily life. To experience more. Do more. Live more. To test the strength of the walls I’ve erected, the ones that have guided what I do and don’t do on a daily basis.
Are they real…or have I just been swimming in snow?
What I’ve found is that, the more I test, the more those walls tend to crumble. And, when they come down, the boundaries of what’s possible, especially in my professional life, have tended to expand. Often rapidly.
So, my question is…
What do you know for sure that just ain’t so?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below…
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