Pushing the limits

By now you have probably seen the ridiculous (and by ridiculous I mean so freaking awesome but cray-cray to the extreme) footage of Robbie Maddison riding a wave in Tahiti ON A MOTORBIKE!!! Yes, you did read that correctly – he caught a monster wave at one of the biggest surfing breaks in the world, on a motorbike.

No, you have not seen this footage yet? Then I urge you to do so!  If you really can’t be bothered, then just check out the 30 seconds from the 3.01 mark and let that batshit crazy image imprint upon your mind.

Did you think he was a goner too? The whitewash that enveloped him was so dense that I didn’t think he’d pop out the front of it at all!

But in true Maddison style, he pulls off the epitome of death-defying in a stunt that seems so impossible.  This pushing of boundaries isn’t a new thing for Robbie, after all he has built his career on ridiculous stunts that people thought were impossible – just do a Youtube search for him to see for yourself.

But as I was watching his latest escapade this morning, it got me thinking what on earth possess people to push themselves to the very brink like that?  To lay it all on the line physically, mentally and I suspect in this case spiritually and knowing that if things go wrong, it’s not just a little boo boo that will be the outcome, it could potentially mean your life is at stake.

Now, I’m not planning on anything quite as extreme as surfing a wave on a motorbike, but I have been thinking a lot about courage and risk taking and being fearless these past few weeks, (well all year is probably more appropriate actually).  To the point where I sometimes wonder if that’s the problem – I think too much.  There is obviously a time and place for thoughts.  For weighing up risks, assessing the situation and making decisions.  But at what point do you just trust your gut and say you know what, I decide how this future plays out. To just do it anyway – oh and looky here, we’re back to the whole theme of 2015 – of being fearless!

I have been reading Lisa Messenger’s Daring and Disruptive and it’s actually quite freaky how it seems like she she can see the inner workings of my brain – the difference is she’s acted upon it and has pushed herself to the limits in the process and I have not. In one chapter she talks about relying on her gut instinct, even when the data was stacked against her and it seemed that wasn’t the right time for her to be pursuing her dream.  Her gut instinct won out! I’ve done enough leadership courses to know that I’m very much lead by my gut.  Which means the distinction isn’t about gut versus head but moreso about pigeon-holing career/business versus personal.  In the very process oriented and bureaucratic organisation that I work within, those that lead by the gut are very few and far between – I am in the minority and I’m known for my propensity to challenge the status quo. Trusting my gut on the day to day is what I do, what I’m known for and what I fight for.

So why am I not pushing my limits with my own personal stuff?  Now that, my friends is an intriguing question!!!

What is pushing your limits anyway?

Is it about having the confidence to take that gut instinct and trust it to do something uncomfortable, something different?

Is it conquering the all consuming fear that provides every. single. tiny. rational reason for why you shouldn’t?

Or perhaps it’s actually about giving up the excuses for inaction and taking the steps to walk the talk, do the do?

I suspect the answer is a mix of all three.

This realisation has actually been quite a revelation. For the first time ever, I think I’ve finally cottoned on to the concept of why setting personal goals is so important.  I’ve always understood in a business context the reasons and importance of setting measurable objectives, but it’s never really translated to my own personal goals. I’ve always been a just wing it kinda gal. Heck, my birth plan was entitled the Just Wing it Birth Plan Mk I and Mk II. After all, I have had proven success in my haphazard approach and up until this point it’s worked for me – why fix it if it ain’t broke, right? This has clearly been my subconscious perspective on goal setting and identifying my limits in the past.  Until now.

Because I can FINALLY see that in order to be able to push my limits, I actually need to define what my limits are.

*applause* *give the girl a prize*

Are you a goal setter? How do you go about identifying what your limits are?


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