“The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of bigger ideas, never returns to its original size.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
Life has different meanings for different people.
For some it is a mystery, for others it is a mean of self-realization; there are people who say that life is a drama – where all of us playing our parts.
Life is also a daily quest to get up, work, stop, relax and getting up and working again. In between there are interludes like eating, meeting and paying attention to nature’s call. While we do all this we move from being balanced to off-balance and back to a balanced state of being.
People crave for balance
All of us do; because it is a human being’s natural state. At the core we are happy, loving souls. Disease and mental affliction hide this nature at times but the core is pure. We want to come back to this pure — child-like state all the time; state of being happy, relaxed and full of positive energy.
To achieve this state;
1. When overworked we crave for relaxation and downtime.
2. When over rested we work to find the balance in work. That is why some people work all the time. People who are out of work — want to work even if money was not a problem. Ask somebody who has been out of job for a while or an elderly person who has taken voluntary retirement or who retired because of age limit.
So we at regular interval consciously or unconsciously work at finding our true nature. When I wrote the secret of finding balance, this was what I was talking about.
All said, it makes sense to test your limits.
For simple reasons like;
It unleashes creative spark. When testing your limits — you venture into a space where you have never been before. You use a process and path to reach there. Finding your balance and maintaining it calls for creativity.
It drives you. Passion and extraordinary effort are required to go to the last mile. When you taste success in reaching there it drives you to go further.
It gets things done. Long hours of extreme activity helps you get a lot done if you are able to stay focused.
You get to know your real strength. When you focus too much on balance and working within your limits then you may never know your real potential. To know it you need to test your limits. Top athletes and fine hackers always test their limits to improve.
How to test your limits?
Situations where you can test yourself;
- Career: Aim for a 100% raise in salary within next 6 months.
- Startups: Work to get 10000 users for your app or target USD 1 million revenue during 1st 18 months.
- Give yourself really tight deadlines: Finish a 2000 word essay in 4 hours (1st draft at least).
- Test your physical limits: If you can walk 4 miles easily go for 5 today. Take a cold water shower tomorrow morning.
A balanced approach to test your limits
Divide your time, into period of intense activity, intense relaxation and normal days. During the times of intense activity you are able to create a lot and then you can sit back, relax and enjoy rest of the time.
Do it intermittently, once a week, not every day and give yourself time to settle. This way it will be a fun-filled growth experiment for you.
How I do it?
I wrote the 1st draft of the post you are reading on Sunday, along with 5 other articles – a total of 3000+ words. This gave me a choice to do free-wheeled writing whenever I wanted. Same for vacations, I prefer really long vacations. Not a day or two but a week or more. Next year I am planning to take a 2-month break and couple of 1-month breaks, will share bits as it unfolds.
Are you in? What do you do to test your limits?
Please share your story in comments. I would love to hear as would fellow readers.
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