“The world is moving so fast these days that the person who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” (Elbert Hubbard)
Reading this quote one might think that Elbert Hubbard lived here in the 21st century, in the age when we can carry access to all the knowledge of the world in our pocket, and have applications that can do just about anything on a 5 ounce phone. But, Elbert Hubbard actually died on the Lusitania in 1915. One hundred years ago, when this quote was probably first written, people already thought that the world was going at a fast pace. Can you imagine what he’d think today? Throughout history there have always been people who said that certain things could not be done. They were usually left in the dust by people doing them.
Reading and reflecting on this quote I can see myself falling into either camp, depending on the day. There are times when I have the entrepreneurial, go-getter attitude of those getting things done; and there are times when I am certain that some things are out of reach. I know that when I shed the mantle of doubt, that there is nothing that cannot be done, and yet I still carry it with me.
I don’t think I am alone. I think the great majority of people find themselves bound by limitations – whether real or perceived – that keep them from achieving goals. I have written before about the idea of having aspirational, high minded goals in life. I even started writing some down. But the sad reality for me is that the everyday demands of life end up getting in the way. I cannot commit myself to being an unbridled dreamer chasing elusive brass rings when I am trying to pay a mortgage, save for retirement, and all the other drudgeries of life. Or, am I just making excuses for not dreaming and reaching higher?
The world is progressing at a fast pace, of that there is no doubt. It seems like every week I read of a new invention, or a new application that can do something that was unimaginable just a few years, or even just a few months before. There was a time when I was a leading edge person with technology. I was the first in my family to have my own PC. I worked for a now-defunct company that pioneered the idea of computers on every desk at work and home. I spent hours on the phone sharing my knowledge with sellers and users of computers the world over. Today I feel like I am miles behind the technology curve. My sons and daughters occasionally chuckle at how far removed dad is from the latest things. Somewhere along the line I became stationary while the world steamed ahead.
It is unlikely that I will ever be on the leading edge of the technology wave again in my life. But I also don’t think that is my personal key to achieving beyond my limitations. I don’t know this morning what it will be, but I know that there will be something in my life that today I think it impossible, that I will work and achieve. Maybe it will be in writing. Perhaps it will be in photography. It could even be in something I don’t even imagine yet. But there is something out there that I will do that will amaze my own heart and soul.