This incredibly valuable principle that Will Smith so eloquently conveys is one of the most common mistakes that people make in society. I know I did. The vast majority of people do not fail to reach their full potential because they set the bar too high and cannot reach it. They never reach their full potential because they set the bar too low, reach it, and never truly challenge themselves to grow and develop.
Whatever you feel entitled to, is usually what you get in life. When I had my first taste of success in my basketball career, I thought the sky was the limit. One of my teammates and I were the first ever basketball players from our high school to make Basketball BC’s U-14 North Shore Regional Team. Even though in the big scheme of things this was a very minor accomplishment, I felt on top of the world.
I am not one of those natural athletes. When I was in elementary school, I was your typical fat and quiet nerd. Therefore, it took a tremendous amount of work to get me to the point where I could make a select basketball team. Initially, I was able to remain innocent about the infinite possibilities for my basketball career. My grand dream was to go play basketball at Harvard, as I thought it would be so cool to be a true scholar-athlete. Then afterwards, obviously go on to play in the NBA.
There were many reasons why I failed including just not working smart and hard enough, but one major factor was accepting and internalizing other people’s limiting beliefs. It is interesting that as children, where we are are or who we are does not really matter. We are in tune with the wonders of life and realize that we can grow and develop. However, as we age we allow society and groupthink to dictate what is and what is not possible.
I remember one of my mentors early on in my basketball career said to me: “It’s not whether the goal is probable or not. What is more important is, are you willing to put in the work necessary to accomplish your goal.” Unfortunately I did not internalize this important lesson until much later in my life.
If you truly want to accomplish something and are willing to make the inherent scarifies necessary to achieve greatness, as I mentioned in a previous post, (Read More: April 7th 2015: Thought of the Day) then the sky is the limit. Therefore if you are serious about achieving your full potential and living your dreams, YOU need to decide what you can and can not do. Remember reality is completely subjective. It is not even clear between philosophers if there is an inherent reality (Read More: Realism) However, regardless of if there is or not, no one can ever ascertain it. Therefore challenge yourself to create your own reality and the life of your dreams!
Just to reinforce the messages from the post, it is always nice to hear this profound message from a great himself, such as Will Smith.
Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,
PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.