Lots of people talk about how important it is to know oneself, and to know one’s limits.
There’s a journey towards that. Not many undertake it.
It’s as much a matter of asking yourself how you feel about something as it is one of observing the way you react in situations, both common and otherwise.
I started that journey long ago, but I don’t want to ever end it. To claim you understand yourself is to claim that you know your limits fully – that is, that you know how far your potential can take you outside of uncommon external stimuli.
Human potential and uniqueness of thought is not limitless. Not even close. It’s a hard thing to accept for adepts of the snowflake theory, that I can tell you, but it is true nonetheless. Maintain that each person has something special about them, then ask yourself – can this person ever be a good X or Y? In many cases, you’ll say no, and you’ll find one or two things, different per case, at which you think someone may be proficient if they were dedicated to it.
Do they have the dedication and interest necessary to exploit their potential? Likely not. If they did, do you think they could be true innovators? Almost certainly not. As time goes by, it’s harder to think of something that someone else hasn’t thought of before.
So you end up with bounded people. You judge them and place them in a box of limits, and that’ll be that. But that would be your judgement – in the vast majority of cases, a train of thought dissimilar to theirs.
But when and if you understand yourself fully, you know how far you can take yourself. I’m not saying to be pessimistic, here – one can still think that if they exploited their talent enough they could be a world-renowned performer, inventor or whatever else it is they’re good at – but you know that it’s very unlikely that there will be anything better beyond the limit you set for yourself.
It’s a frightening thing.
Why? Because once you have limits, you also know where to reasonably set your expectations, and having those self-set limits might just prevent you from trying something that would have paid off. It can make you over-cautious, and being over-cautious has seldom gotten anyone anywhere.
So in the journey of self-understanding, I am of this certain thought – I wish never to reach a day in which I can claim I know my limits.
Spiritually speaking, anyway.