“Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being…there are NO limits. There are plateus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
– Bruce Lee
Ever since I’ve became aware that our thoughts create our reality, I try as much as I can to stay away from “facts” that state what can and cannot be done because I know the only limits on what’s possible are what we believe – sometimes what we don’t know not only doesn’t hurt us, sometimes it helps us, because we are not confined by the limits of the known.
I watched the pilot of a new television series called Timeless today. The series is about time travel. In this episode, the characters go back in time to a specific historical event, and end up changing the sequence of events that occurred in history, thereby changing the future.
I watched this show on the heels of my last two posts where I talked about how we are all interconnected and everything happens for a reason. Later, I “stumbled” on an anecdote about a mathematical scientist who “accidentally” made important contributions to operations research, computer science, economics, and statistics.
Of course, we know there are no accidents or coincidences, that everything really does happen for a reason, and like the show suggested, we are so very interconnected that even the slightest alteration to an individual’s life has an impact on the whole Universe.
Synchronously, the anecdote about the mathematical scientist combines all three of these points into one pretty cool illustration about the magic of the Universe and the power of belief.
One day in 1939, George Bernard Dantzig, a doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley arrived late for class and found two math problems on the board. He quickly wrote them down, assuming they were the homework assignment. It took him several days to work through the two problems, but he finally did.
A few days after he’d turned the homework in, George got a call from his excited professor. Since George had been late for that class, he hadn’t heard the professor announce that the two problems on the board were mathematical mind-teasers that even Einstein hadn’t been able to solve.
George Dantzig believed that he was working on ordinary homework problems, so he solved both problems that had stumped mathematicians for hundreds of years, because he didn’t know any better. Had he been on time, he would never have even attempted to solve the problems because his mind would have created limits telling him that it wasn’t possible.
“You are only as limited as your beliefs.”
– Jennifer Ho-Dougatz
Next time someone tells you that something can’t be done, pretend you can’t hear them. Or better yet, don’t listen – they don’t know what you can do. And when things don’t go according to plan, maybe there’s a reason for it. Go with it – it might just be your call to make your most important contribution to the world. If George had been on time, I might not be writing this blog, and you might not be reading it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!