How To Expand Your Limits
I had this fish once a few years ago. Actually, I had several fishes. I don’t know what go into me, but I got the idea that I wanted to have a tropical fish tank in my apartment. And as luck would have it, there was a tropical fish store in the mini mall just behind where my apartment was located. I suppose there is a connection there; as the tropical fish store was right next door to the cleaners I took my shirts to. (Marketers take note.)
So I went in one Saturday afternoon, not sure what I wanted, and started looking around. I priced difference size tanks, equipment, shapes that would best fit in my apartment, etc. Finally I settled on size and a price, and now was time to pick the fish.
“I need some fish,” I asked the guy. He explained to me how the shop was set up. On the left, were fighting fish. Fish that can’t live with other fish or else they’ll kick the crap out of each other. On the right were passive fish, or fish that just stare at you bug eyed from inside the tank. Since I had in mind a tank with a bunch of different fish swimming around, I decided on the passive fish.
I remember once I took this public speaking class. The guy who taught it started it off with some story, which of course was a metaphor for personal growth. The story was told to him by his original teacher at this public speaking course. It was a famous course, and most of the instructors are former members who realized incredible personal growth through the course and wanted to continue their growth by teach others.
I’m not sure if they actually designed the course that way, or if it just naturally grew that way, but it seems to be a pretty good way to build your business. The people that teach others are people that were successful in it to start, so they really know the ins and outs. And the instructors are always being created, as more and more people join the course.
That way, they really only need to worry about getting new people to sign up for the course, rather than always be on the lookout or new instructors. It is kind of self-feeding business. Just put people into the funnel and they will either spread the word to other potential members, or become instructors themselves.
This particular public speaking class has been around for many years, at least fifty or so, and has slowly grown through this method. Unless you know somebody who’s gone through the course, you likely haven’t heard of it. Of course, if you are looking for one of the best public speaking courses around, you’ll likely find this one, if you do any kind of searching.
Anyway, this guy went into a fish store, and noticed that there were several different sharks. Some sharks were pretty big, while other sharks were kind of small. At first the guy thought maybe they were different breeds or species or whatever the word is that they use to classify sharks, but then he noticed that they were all very similar in appearance. They only differed by size.
So he then assumed that maybe some were younger, and some were older. But when he asked the shopkeeper, he was surprised.
These sharks only grow as big as their cage. It has something to do with their swimming patterns. They don’t have air buoys like other fish, so they can’t just sit and float. They need to keep moving. If they are confined to a relatively small area, they won’t grow very big. They have evolved this as a way to not out strip their resources. If they are in bigger tank, or a bigger area, then they grow bigger.
Of course, the sharks really have no idea that they are in a container; they just swim around and are automatically constrained by their boundaries. Those with larger boundaries expand to meet them, and those with smaller boundaries stay small.
He asked what would happen if you took a small fish and put it into a larger area. The shopkeeper told him that they would naturally adjust, and grow bigger. He said that’s the interesting thing about sharks, is that they are like people in this regard. They are always growing to match their boundaries. If they want to grow bigger, all they need to do is increase the limits of their boundaries, and they will naturally expand to meet them.
But like most people, sharks sit around and wait for somebody else to put them into a bigger container. They expect some outside force or entity to change the shape of their cage. Some people have figured out the secret. That our cages are really only a figment of our imagination. All we really need to do is imagine that our cages are bigger, and we will expand accordingly. Most people never figure this out, and are always waiting for somebody else to guide them by the hand to bigger and better cages.
Once you know the secret, you can just re-imagine our limits until they are big enough to contain all the goals and things you want to achieve in life.
That’s when this guy realized he was at the first day of a public speaking seminar, and the instructor was giving them a kind of pep talk. Over the next twelve weeks, they would be expanding their comfort zones considerably through the practice of public speaking. And they would learn the best secret of all.
All of your boundaries are set by your fears of what you think is on the other side. When you face those fears, and realize they are only figments of your imagination, you boundaries or comfort zone will expand immeasurably. Which is exactly what they learned at this public speaking seminar.
The funny thing is that I think the shopkeeper made a mistake. Because even though I picked all passive fish, from the passive fish side of the store, it didn’t take long for one fish to eat all the rest. I started out with about six fish. Every other day or so there would be one more fish missing.
And all I had left was one fighting fish that had been mistaken for a passive fish, which was now proudly the only fish in his tank.