I have a history of placing limitations on myself as a safety guard to prevent over-achieving.

This weekend, I attended a gymnastics clinic to learn the skill of “muscle-ups”. I looked like an over-sized chimpanzee trying to take a bite from a banana with only one branch keeping me from it. It was pretty ugly but by the end of the clinic, I had learned a tremendous amount. The coach told me that the only thing stopping me from getting over the bar was my belief that I could not get over the bar. Sadly, I have to agree with him. It’s pretty typical.

I played football with a guy who had no limitations. He wasn’t NFL material but everything he did, he did so with the belief that he was going to come out on top. He would lower his head against anybody….I mean anybody. There were many times that he probably should have pulled back, as his efforts were futile, but he had no limitations. He went for it every single time.

He didn’t win every time. He didn’t need to win every time. The fact that he went hard-core, balls-out, every time was enough to win him the respect of those who surrounded him.

I don’t think that winning is what makes a winner as much as I think that expecting to win and performing your best does.

Joe Pedroli was this guys name, and if you ever squared up against him, you knew it. Win or lose, if you clunk heads with Joe, you were clunking heads with someone who had no limits. Even if you did get the better of Joe, your prize was a splitting headache and eyes full of stars.

We use to laugh at Joe’s recklessness and his willingness to run through a brick wall. At the time, I thought maybe he was too stupid to know any better. Maybe he didn’t know he was supposed to lose and that’s why he won so often. It was almost like he never got the memo that there were things that he wasn’t supposed to be able to achieve, and that’s why he achieved them.

Joe was stupid alright. So stupid in fact that he went on to graduate from Furman University after a successful football career. He didn’t know that he had limits. He played without limitations, he studied without limitations, and, at times, partied without limitations. He wasn’t confined to a belief system which he placed upon himself. Joe was free to perform at whatever level he wished, and still is.

There is a lot to be learned from a dude like Joe. I think sometimes I need to live like I don’t know any better; perform as if  I have no idea how good or bad I might be. The expectation to perform at a certain level restricts me to certain degrees within that level.

Sometimes the best strategy is reckless abandonment.

Reckless. Abandonment.

It doesn’t always work….but it doesn’t always have to.

Peace, Love and all things Beef related,