Nope!! This is not a piece about white or brown envelopes. ✉?
This is not also about how ‘pushing the envelope’ is a reference to the flyable portion of the atmosphere that envelopes the earth or how Pilots would push the envelope when they were testing the speed or elevation limits of a new aircraft. Nothing as deep as that.
I am however interested in ‘pushing the envelope’ as a concept of identifing and testing limits, wanting to do more, aiming to forge ahead, trying out new things, exceeding and stretching limits in every area of our life. Basically, just wanting to do more……oh!! I said that already. It is that moment when you sometimes allow benefits from a previous task motivate you to keep stretching. You feel that desire to exceed your current limit of performance.
Pushing the Envelope can be adopted as a way of life, we only need to have the constant urge to take on challenges and surpass limits. As individuals, We should identify what ‘envelope’ we intend to push in certain areas – career, weight goals, projects, spiritual life, school work, finance, relationship, business or even something as little as drinking more water daily. There is definitely that one thing/task you want to improve on but somehow you find yourself holding back.
The reason why we sometimes waive an opportunity is because we are not equipped to take on the task we are being confronted with. As much as we desire to start a new task, we do not dare to indicate our interest and we find ourselves stalling because we think (or sometimes sure) we are not fit.
Now, it is acceptable to first see a challenge for what it is – A Challenge. What takes you a step further is being able to (PUSH THE ENVELOPE) mentally evaluate a situation, determine the resources needed for a positive result, find ways to improve on the result and actually crossing the hurdle.
I like to say there are two types of people in every situation. For the purpose of this article, there are people who get themselves equipped to take on a task and there are people who take the back seat and let others do it. You can easily assess the kind of person you are by your observing your behaviour towards a group work.
“The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.”
If you are totally laid back because there are five other people who can cover up for you, this is wrong for your self-development and If you find yourself really excited about a task, you are definitely on the right track but not there yet.
Being enthusiastic about exceeding a current performance or starting out a new task does not get the work done. All that excitement needs to be channeled into ‘active activity’ geared towards a desired output. Some people are usually excited when they hear about a new challenge but once it is time to start the actual process, they take backward steps and the dream remains as it is – A Dream.
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect It’s successful outcome.”
Pushing the envelope involves challenging yourself to take on new responsibilities and Like William James said, it is your attitude more than anything else that affects the successful outcome of a task no matter how difficult it is. Starting a new task is not the easiest of things especially if you have no idea where to begin. Here are some tips to serve as a guide towards that ‘envelope’ that needs a nugde or push.
The need to be interested in a particular activity cannot be over-emphasized. I can tell you first hand that if I am not interested in a particular activity, you will have to remind me to keep doing it and sometimes you might get a blank stare in return. Interest is that thing that keeps you fixated on achieveing a task even when the odds are against you. It is an urge that pushes you to want to know something/ find out something/ withstand all blocks to meet your target. Interest is really what you first need to pursue a task because it orientates your mindset. Your interest on a particular matter determines your attitude towards handling it.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will”.
Vincent T. Lombardi
Once we have established the fact that we are interested in a task, we have to face reality. It will be difficult, we might have sleepless nights, have to spend money, have to make a lot of sacrifices etc. All the problems we will go through will be right in our face trying to frighten us but because we are interested to carry on, we need to further suppress our fears and be optimistic. This is a good time to connect with our spirituality, identify the areas we struggle with and see a counsellor, talk with like minds, remind ourselves of the benefit we will gain from achieving this task. It is a better feeling ‘doing it afraid’ than regretting later because we did not do it.
“Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway”
Congratulations!!!! We are interested in a task and we have shoved fear aside. Now we have to equip ourselves. Being unprepared to handle a task is a guaranteed set up for failure. Make the things we need to launch available for the task. If you need to start writing more, get a laptop in your favourite colour if that will motivate you. If you need to research, get reliable internet connection. Need funds? Source for it and get it no matter how long it takes. Get trained if you need to. Depending on the task you have to handle, equip yourself for that purpose. I mentioned that the reason we sometimes waive an opportunity is because we are not fit to take on the challenge. Getting ourselves equipped for a task clears our doubts and we have a better chance at accepting challenges when we know we have the capability to handle it. It is important to be specific as possible and take on tasks that are achievable. The perfect recipe for success is easily grabbing an opportunity and preparing for the task ahead.
“Success is where preparation and opportunity meets”
Once you are well-equipped, go ahead and launch. Having in mind that launching is actually a huge plate on the table, follow the required process related to the task being handled. Steps to starting a new business will be totally different from starting a new website. Adhere to procedures but you must get out there and take a chance. Take gradual steps if you have to. If it is a solo task, you have the privilege to work with your time-line. If other people are involved, make useful contribution towards the project. Try out several buttons and find the one that keeps you on course. You should also be open to adjustment and observe your progess weekly or monthly.
Once we develop the habit to take on new choices and challenges each day, we will gradually feel the need to always improve areas in our life.
How nice will it be to ‘push several envelopes’ effortlessly as a result of adopting the lifestyle of constantly exceeding current limits.
Love,Peace and Cupcakes.