Is your brain limiting your mountain?

Is your brain limiting you?

A recent lunch with a friend has had me thinking a lot about how I define myself; do I think more about the things that limit me (bad knees, have a cold, busy with kids, blah, blah, blah) or do I spend more time thinking about the things I want to do and accomplish (another book, another mountain, grow relationships, etc.)?  Do you ever find yourself mired in the "can'ts?"   I hear a lot of the "can'ts" when I do my Kilimanjaro talks. I can't climb Kilimanjaro because I'm too old/young/injured/disabled/poor/inexperienced/… But my lunch with Bill has me thinking a lot about my focus because Bill has every reason to focus on his problems, but instead he chooses to focus on his dreams and ambitions.  I met Bill at grad school a few years ago. In spite of his genius level IQ (130+) Bill was slowly failing out of school and his marriage was falling apart.  After a rather painful burnout that eventually got Bill checked into a hospital for psychiatric evaluation we finally learned that Bill was a manic depressive.   Because of the chemicals in Bill's brain he had trouble focusing, was volatile  and struggled with some of the basic human interactions we take for granted every day. Since that diagnosis things have not gone well for Bill.  He had to leave school, his wife left him and he's been working hard to maintain his relationship with his son, now 10 years old.  Bill's biggest challenge is his own brain, it's something he can never escape.  He's got every reason to focus on what he can't do.  But as we chatted over lunch Bill kept focusing on what he wanted to do, what he wanted to accomplish. "I just want to do something of value." He said.  "I want to accomplish something again." Feeling somewhat sorry for Bill I invited him to join me for my next speaking event, thinking he might be able to help me sell some books afterwards.  It was a kind of charity in my mind; a chance to let Bill feel like he was helping and accomplishing something.  But the results were amazing. Bill was more than helpful, he was a godsend.  He networked with event organizers, sold books, provided invaluable support and offered me some phenomenal advice on how to improve.  In the end, I wasn't helping Bill, he was helping me.   Are you thinking of people for what they can or can't do?  Are you defining your ambitions by your limitations?  If Bill can overcome his own brain, certainly you might be able to do more as well.
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