I saw an old interview with sculptor Henry Moore today in which he said:
"The secret of life is to have a task—something you bring everything to. And the most important thing is—it must be something you cannot possibly do."
What struck me was the the last part, that it must be something you can't possibly do. I like this because it reminds me that I'd rather reach beyond myself and fail than to only do what I know I can do and remain stagnant. In fact dormant might describe it better; standing in one place waiting for something to happen instead of growing outwards to reach it. But how tempting it is to stick to what I know and not venture beyond it. I think it's worth remembering that all the millions of people who've discovered new things, created fine art and music, explored new places and thought in challenging ways were and are ordinary people who've been motivated to go a step further than what they're comfortable with and see where it takes them. We can't all be genius scientists, artists, explorers and philosophers, but we can expand outwards as far as we can go in our own unique sphere and refuse to put artificial limits on ourselves. We can learn to be fearless in what drives us by willing to go just that one little step further and see what happens.