Take It to the Limit—And Beyond

So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time
—The Eagles

There is a phrase from American football used in business many years ago, “Take the ball and run with it.”

A colleague and I at a company long ago used to talk about the people who “took the ball and ran with it—and ran through the tunnel and spiked it on the highway on the way home.”

Humans seem to have a problem with limits and balance. Adolescence is a time of testing limits. But there must be limits, or maturity and freedom are lost. When my daughter was that age, I would tell her, “Your job is to push the limits; my job is to rein you in.” It seemed to work.

Some people are all about themselves. Freedom is what I want to do, when I want to do it, with whom I want to do it with, and so forth. No thought about others.

There exist other people who lose their core in serving someone or some idea or some thing. They fail to think of their own well being while serving the other.

Wise people have know for millennia that balance is the key. I am a disciple of Jesus (but you could be following some other ancient tradition with similar advice on this point). Reading Jesus’s teaching carefully, we find that he often was concerned with the state of the individual person’s heart. Are you strong and focused?

But he also was concerned that you care for (love) your neighbor. And who is your neighbor? Once he gave an example. His example of the good neighbor was the most despised ethnic group his listeners could imagine.

There must be balance. You must look after yourself (eat and train like I said yesterday). But you must also think of those around you in an ever widening circle.

Don’t take it to the limit…and beyond.

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