Limits from the past don’t determine the present.


“When we think of resources being limited, we often think of our own abilities. Here, too, our notion of limits may inhibit us. We may push ourselves to what we believe are our limits, in swimming, public speaking, or mathematics. However, whether they are true limits is not determinable.

It may be in our best interest to proceed as though these and other abilities might be improved upon, so that at least we will not be deterred by false limits. It was once assumed that humans could not run the mile in fewer than five minutes. In 1922 it was said to be ‘humanly impossible’ to run the mile in less than four minutes. In 1952 that limit was broken by Roger Bannister. Each time a record is broken, the supposed limit is extended. Yet the notion of limits persists.

If we are mindful, we don’t assume limits from past experience have to determine present experience.”

—Ellen Langer from Mindfulness