Consider this: “You may not have the ability to be anything you want to be AND you certainly can be everything you were meant to be”.
I am not taking a stance on predestination here. Call it fate, karma, or pure random circumstances; we all start where we start, which is never exactly the same as anyone else. So no one can be anything. I know that last sentence could lead devotees of the gospel of positive thinking to squaw at me – I just think it has to be true, AND I think the fact that we all have some inherent limits also brings some positive implications.
One real example of inherent lack of possibility is the current longstanding law that has left many highly capable US citizens living their whole lives knowing they could never be President, because they were not physically born in the US. This has left various supporters of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Madeline Albright up in arms over the years. Those two people accomplished more than most can even dream, and yet at least one large opportunity was never open to them. They literally could not do anything they put their mind to, because of some real structural limits in the world.
I know that someone is starting to scoff at their screen right now, pointing to an example of someone starting with a huge disadvantage and yet accomplishing an apparent miracle of achievement. It is the classic “If they can do it, anyone can!”
We see these articles about surprisingly amazing people that astonish us with their accomplishments, and frequently post hashtags like “Anything is Possible”. Yes. whatever heroic feat being highlighted was clearly possible, for that person who did it. It doesn’t mean any accomplishment is available to anyone if they just want it bad enough. It does mean that more is likely available to us that we thing. Lots of people leave great possibility undiscovered in their lives, never even coming close to the whatever limits are out there in the undiscovered distance. The real lesson is not “anything is possible” but that we shouldn’t let anyone else tell us what our limits are, rather we should go to the trouble to discover them for ourselves.
Lets get where I am really trying to go, which is the positive implication of this theory: Because no one has the same exact starting place, and everyone has a unique mix of personal assets and experience, the very positive conclusion we can draw is that everyone has something they can be, and a way they can be it, that is not reproducible by anyone else in history or future existence. We all have the capability to hold a monopoly on a market that we are uniquely suited to occupy. Think about your oldest friend – just by the happenstance of being pushed together early in life, your shared history is unique and no one else can try to occupy the position you hold in each other’s lives.
Oscar Wilde is frequently credited as having said:
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”.
Maybe not everything is possible for you, but remember that you also have the capacity to fulfill a landscape that is not available to anyone else. Please don’t try to be someone else. You will only crowd a market that is already saturated, all the while missing the fertile ground reserved for your sole purpose.