When I was a kid my parents had a poster up in the living room. Not a painting, an actual poster. It was a photo of the space shuttle with the Karen Ravn poem that says:
“Only as high as I reach can I grow
Only as far as I seek can I go
Only as deep as I look can I see
Only as much as I dream can I be”
I’m not sure they know what an impact that poster would have on me throughout my life – I’m not sure I knew, until recently.
I’ve always been one to take risks. It is what keeps me motivated in life. I think it is because I’ve experienced being happy without much at all and so anything beyond basic creature comforts is just a bonus. Something I can risk getting because if I don’t succeed I can still be happy and have enjoyed the process of trying.
Some of my favorite times in life have been backpacking. Where everything I need to survive and be happy I’ve been able to carry on my back. Most recently in Alaska with our Scout Troop in August of 2014. My favorite part was the three day excursion into the back country where we really pushed ourselves to live minimally. I had just enough food to be full, spectacular scenery and my son there with me.
Whenever an opportunity arises to do something challenging I remember that poster that my parents had hung up and the words – “Only as far as we dream can we go” – and it inspires me once again to push my limits. I’ve probably recalled that poster over a hundred times in my life. I recalled it when we were looking at this house. The fact that it was going to be challenging and risky were “pros” in my pro/con chart for buying the house. And so far, only a couple weeks into the adventure, it certainly has proven to be challenging.
Debbie is definitely not as much of a risk taker. Don’t get me wrong – she does take risks. And she has always supported my adventures. But it comes with a toll on her. She spends an incredible amount of time thinking through every detail. Stuff I wouldn’t give a thought to. And she worries when things seem to go off course for a bit. Whereas I expect and enjoy those side journeys.
Our differences balance us out though. I know that if she agrees with something that I’ve proposed it is something we will succeed at. My vision and determination combined with her analytics and thoughtful consideration is a powerful force.
I know we will hit a number of bumpy patches in the process of turning this property into what we envision it to be. But, I also know we’ll get through them and will enjoy the bumps as well as the smooth parts.
Human beings grow when they explore the outer boundrys of their limitations. Don’t stop growing.