Sunday, August 14, 2022
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Living with limits.

It is too common today to hear so many people suffering from every kind of illnesses. It is also common to hear many businesses and families facing all varieties of financial issues, just like it is unfortunately too usual to hear about emotional tragedies, torn families, lives cut short by suicide and so on. 

How did we come to such a situation? We should be progressing; in fact, we have improved in many ways. However, the main goal of progress is to give us a better life The question is, has it? If we look at the various cases I shared, we can hardly conclude that our lives are better now. The statistics show that humankind is sicker, more stressed, and less happy today. The success stories are fewer compared to the many failures. Only a minority can praise the success of progress, only a handful are enjoying a ‘better’ life but, are they? 

In all of this, our society has now become engrossed in a race toward success. Priorities, progress and other metrics of life have been redefined. It is a society that runs for more! And we will somehow get caught up in all this madness if we are not vigilant or if we do not take necessary decisions. We all know that as an encouragement to do more, we adhere to the saying “the sky is the limit”, in other words, there is no limit! Today, we are encouraged to push our boundaries, to go for more, to push harder. The world and the actual society tend to praise and reward those who go beyond their limits to achieve success. 

While in some areas of our life it is good to go beyond our capacity, however, there are three areas which we should not push too hard, or we will suffer. I am talking about finance, physical and emotional domains. If we do not want to be amongst those suffering directly or indirectly of the various “progress sicknesses”, then we need to implement some “Limited Living.” 

We must understand that some things are finite. Our finance is limited, our physical capacity is finite (our body has finite resources), and our emotions have restricted abilities or endurance. We all know that we must have some control over our finances as it is limited. We should control our expenses, so we always have some margin (some savings). Every time we go past our limit (what we have in our bank accounts), we run into debts. Using a credit card amounts to going beyond our financial capacity, it means using funds that we do not yet have. Even the cards have limits unless you have an unlimited amount! But your unlimitedness must match your limitless capacity to repay. If not, we fall into debts and all the strains and toils that they bring. Companies and individuals are successful financially because they understand how to manage their limits and capacities. 

Similarly, we are physically limited. What I mean here is that our body is limited, we have only a fixed number of organs. Only one heart, only two eyes, and so on. We do not have an unlimited amount of these resources. So we need to know that we cannot push too much beyond their limits because when they fail, we have no spare ones. Even these organs, muscles etc. have a limited capacity of execution. Athletes (and non-athletes) pushed their limits and have tragically died due to failures resulting from over-exercising their body and putting too much strain on their heart. If we work too much, draining our natural resources, we will also face the same fate. There are a lot of new sicknesses plaguing humanity due to the modern FastTrack lifestyles. Stress, mental breakdown, suicide and other calamities are associated unfortunately to a demanding working society. To match the various demands of our work, we put unnecessary and uncontrolled stress or strain on our body, and with time, our body crashes. 

We must also understand, and I think it is crucial to understand that not everyone has the same capacities. In fact, we are all unique. So we cannot be doing as others are doing. We must know what our abilities and limits are. We must be very conscious of these limits. 

Similarly, we also have emotional limits, and in my opinion, we should really not go beyond. Our emotional levels change every day depending on our surroundings, activities and experiences. We can be emotionally full or depleted. When we are drained emotionally, this is where we give way to despair, we take wrong and rash decisions, and we fail to think positively and reasonably. Sometimes we hear people saying that they are fed-up with their friends, spouses, relatives and colleagues. Why? It is because the relationship has broken down somewhere and has gone past what they can emotionally endure. The most dramatic life decisions are, unfortunately, taken when the emotional limit has been reached and surpassed. Then follows the catastrophes. Resignation, divorce, violent conduct and even suicide are usually the results of emotional abuse or emotional depletion. 

This is why we must be able to understand and be aware of our limits and then organise our lives by allowing enough margin in our lives to keep us at a reasonable distance from the boundaries. We must also take decisions about the various situations, people and circumstances that affect us, pushing us to the limits. 

We must stay mindful of our capacity each day and not overdo. If we feel drained, or near breaking point, then its time to go for refuelling! Just as a car needs refuelling, we also need to refuel. We are not machines, but human beings, and our body is not mechanical, but a living organism. 

What are the causes of depletions around you? Can you identify the various draining factors? What are the filling factors? 

Take actions, avoid everything that tends to deplete you emotionally and physically. Give yourself time to refill, to get your levels up again. Your emotional level and your physical level are of paramount importance. Knowing your limit is not a weakness, it is responsible and wise. 

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