Friday, November 23, 2018

Are You Reaching Your Full Capacity?


Last Christmas, we decided to add a new Boston Terrier puppy to our family. His name is Rudy. There have been many times over the past months that Rudy has tested our patience. And he's tested the patience of our older Boston Terrier, Max, too.

He's chewed up the house. He's been slow to house train. He's been quick to disobey. He's a little too affectionate. He's in your face affectionate. It's cute and annoying at the same time.

But a few months ago we noticed something was wrong with Rudy. He was having problems with one of his back legs. It would happen occasionally, and he would limp around on three legs for a while, and then he was back to his old self.

But the problem became even more frequent. A trip to the vet revealed Rudy's leg problem was Patellar Luxation, a knee cap that was dislocating. The leg would not get better on its own and needed to be addressed surgically.

So Rudy was scheduled for his operation.

After Rudy had his surgery, the vet said we needed to keep him from using the repaired knee. "No using that leg," he said. 

Just how are you supposed to keep a dog from using a leg? Hey Rudy, no using that leg, okay? 

But turns out that wasn't a problem. Rudy didn't want to use the leg. I guess it was pretty sore, and he quit using it entirely after the surgery. 

Even weeks later, after several visits to the vet, Rudy was still not using the repaired leg. The vet suggested several ideas for getting him to start using the leg again, including swim therapy in our bath tub. Seriously.

But Rudy still refused to use his fourth leg. He was a three-legged dog, it seemed, forever.

However, it was clear from our trips to the veterinarian, Rudy's leg had healed properly. He was simply choosing not to use the leg. He had created a limitation in his canine brain that he was a three-legged dog. He had created a new identity that kept him from reaching his full capacity.

Would Rudy ever walk on four legs again?

And then, in a matter of a couple of weeks, Rudy started testing the fourth leg a little more. He pushed out of his comfort zone and into his growth zone. The video clips below were shot on the same day in the span of about an hour. You'll see his three legged routine and then what's possible when he pushes past the limits. Rudy was very capable it seems.



When Rudy got past his limits, he was running around like any puppy should. He was back to annoying all of us again, in his regular way. He was starting to utilize his fourth leg to its full capacity.

But here's the thing, how many of us are choosing, perhaps unintentionally, to be three-legged dogs? Could it be that most of us are only using a fraction of our true capacity? What might be possible if we would only test our limits and continue to learn and grow?

I think most people are only operating at a small percentage of full capacity. And I think most schools are only operating at a small percentage of full capacity. We're probably capable of so much more. Our schools are probably capable of so much more.

Sure, we're trying to make progress, but we're walking on three legs. We're trying to make things better, but we need to make ourselves better. Change you first.

What we really need is to cut loose and run on all four legs. And we need to create conditions where other people are able to reach their capacity, too. 

So how can you reach your capacity? You have to get started on a path of growth. Break through your limits with the following...

1. The BELIEF that you need to get better.

If you think you're doing just fine on three legs, you'll never find your true capacity. You'll just keep limping along. You need a vision of what's possible. Moreover, you also need the belief that things CAN get better. Don't allow your past performance to limit your future possibilities.

2. The DESIRE to want to get better.

Growth is the more difficult choice. It's easier just to be satisfied, either intentionally or unintentionally, with how things are. We have to crush apathy and reject mediocrity. We have to desire excellence. You have to commit. You have to really want it.

3. The WILLINGNESS to take action to get better.

You have to test your limits. You have to see what that fourth leg is capable of doing. Sometimes it feels really risky to step out in faith. It might hurt. But you must take action. Destiny is about decisions. It might be hard, but it's worth it. 

4. The WISDOM to learn how to get better.

There is a certain wisdom and humility needed to recognize that we're not currently all we could be. We're probably capable of more, if we're honest about it. We must therefore seek out opportunities to learn from others. We must apply the things we learn. We have to pursue growth intentionally. 

5. The DISCIPLINE to follow through and be GREAT.

Living a no limits life requires discipline. A new direction requires discipline. Full capacity requires discipline. You have to eliminate the choices that aren't leading you toward your capacity. You have to be relentless to achieve the results.

What are some ways you want to test your limits? What are some ways you need to test your limits? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter
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