Definitions, limits and standards

Taposh Desai
Published on: 24th November 2014

Ask the person sitting next to you, if he can do something that is your absolute limit, be it weights, a sprint, holding your breath underwater or just sitting and staring at a spot on the wall (that’s pretty hard, trust me). If you find yourself sitting next to Cristiano Ronaldo, “tough luck,” you’d think. But unless you’re Leo Messi, going head to head with him for the title of the greatest footballer, I don’t think it should matter.

I’ve probably gone a bit too far. Remember when you were in 10th grade and there was your friend Kumar who was good at everything? Your mom used to tell you, “Why can’t you be more like him?” Frankly, I used to say to myself, "Because I’m not him". They tell you that you have the potential to be as good as him, and you just shrug it off. That’s because they set him as the standard, implying to you as he is the ultimate level, and you want your own level. Shame on you.

Definitions, limits and standards,love,life

If someone tells you that you have potential, maybe he did recognise it correctly (although only one in 10 people or so might get it right). Then, with the proper guidance, you can become better. But the question remains: better till where/when? In a basic example of building abs (oh, the craze!) one would put up a poster of Hritik Roshan from Bang Bang and think I’ll work my butt off to get such abs. But is that really possible? You’ve just set a long shot goal for yourself, at a time when you don’t know which road to take. Sure, you’ll take smaller steps, set intermediate goals, mark your progress, stay motivated and what not. But have you ever considered that you might never have such abs, due to the massive difference in the body structure? Or that all it only took him was probably 2 rounds of Lipo and a few fat reduction drugs that’ll probably empty your pockets many times over (after all the gym time, that is)?

I saw a pic on the internet one day. In it, an ordinary Joe goes to the gym and is surrounded by a few hefty weight lifters, lifting dozens of kilos at a time, while our guy barely manages 5kgs. After going home, depressed about his inability, his wife asks him to open a bottle she’d been struggling with. He opens it in the first shot. His wife, amazed, gives him a kiss and says “You’re the strongest man I’ve met.” Moral of the story: He is strong for the people who matter. His standard was to be strong enough to help out his wife. His limit need not be way beyond that.

Speaking of husband and wife, what is your limit of caring for someone? If you have someone you care for- a friend, a family member or that one special person- to what level would you go to support them in anything, no matter how crazy their schemes are? Chivalry states that you must say, “Sky’s the limit.” But would you actually do that, or if you’re honest enough with them, say that? Why break their trust by making empty promises when you can be open about your limits with them.

And there’s love- for a person or an object or an idea or anything else in the world. How in the blazing heavens do you know that you love it? If someone can answer what’s the threshold for love after liking it, universally, that person is to be called a God. Frankly, I love pizza, and I know that I love it because whenever I eat one, I feel that something inside me is complete. I feel content, I feel happy and at ease. A friend of mine claims he simply “likes” pizza, though he says he feels the same way I do about it.

Another classic example a friend of mine gave was about the difference of how people say the magic phrase that melts a heart and forges a bond of life (so they say) over here and in the USA. People over there begin dating each other and for a long time they remain oblivious of the extent of their feelings they have for one another, and suddenly, one day one of the partners says I love you. Usually this response is found very romantic and stuff. But here, a relationship begins with that same phrase and continues on. Do we, then, fall so deeply in love and then start dating, or do we start with the same infatuation and term it as love? I found the answer to be the fact that we define our own standards of love. So do the Americans, or anyone for that matter. It’s just we set a pretty low standard (I still don’t know if that’s good or bad).

The point of this self sustained argument is that if we are the people who define our own limits, why not set them according to standards inside us itself? Why should we set our limit with any other person in mind? Why not make an imaginary self of yourself a role model and act towards it. Why not define yourself and work towards it.

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