WHENEVER anybody suggests that we can be anything we want to be, those people who do not believe this, immediately go off the Richter scale.
They start to ask for things that they consider to be impossible to happen. They do this, not because they actually want to achieve these ambitions, but rather to win an argument that we cannot be anything we want to be, after all.
The great sadness is they are actually convincing themselves, against themselves, ie, by running down their own strengths, ability and potential.
The great irony of this is that, more often than not, they will suggest things that actually are possible.
1. I want to be one of the first members of the public to go up in a space shuttle.
2. I want to have the best memory in the world.
3. I want to be taller.
4. Make me a woman (It was a man requesting this by the way!).
Whenever I meet these suggestions, and there are scores more, first of all I establish whether this is what the person really, really wants. When they think about these dreams, does their heart soar? More often than not, the answer is sadly no. I say ‘sadly’ because I would love to help people achieve what they consider to be impossible. Because, in fact, all of the four listed outcomes above are possible.
And when I suggest this, the other person will often accuse me of avoiding their point, which is not, ‘Can you help me achieve my dreams?’ but is, ‘You can’t help me be anything I want to be, because that is impossible.’
Now this is deep stuff, but it is right at the heart of human ambition., and one of the main reasons people do not strive higher. Because when we are convinced that we cannot be anything we want to be, we decide not to be much more than we already are.
(An extract from David Taylor’s The Naked Leader)