‘Challenge Your Limits’

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08th December, 2022

The book I read recently, which added to my belief of challenging our limits if we want to grow in life, was Seth Godin’s ‘The Icarus Deception.’

In this book, Seth writes about the story of Icarus, whose father Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son to fly out of a prison they were captivated in.

Daedalus tried his wings first, but before taking off from the island, warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea, but to follow his path of flight. However, overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax.

Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms, and so he fell into the sea.

The Icarus myth is often used as an example of when hubris or over-confidence – of flying too high – can go badly wrong.

However, Seth, in his book, points out that there is another part of the story – Icarus’s father Daedalus also told his son not to fly too low as the water could also damage his wings.

As per Seth – “Society has altered the myth, encouraging us to forget the part about the sea, and created a culture where we constantly remind one another about the dangers of standing up, standing out, and making a ruckus.”

However, he writes, settling for too little is “a far more common failing”.

You see, like what Daedalus advised Icarus, we all have the potential to do great work in life. However, to do so, we need to leave our comfort zones – to fly closer to the sun and to fail sometimes.

If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.

Looking from another angle, if you’re hitting bulls-eye every time, maybe you’re standing too close to the target.

Arthur Koestler put it so well – “If the Creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he certainly would have meant for us to stick it out.”

So,  move out of your comfort zone, stick your neck out, and take some risks & stay blessed forever.