In his best-seller, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” Robin Sharma shares a conversation between two men.

In this conversation, the mentor (Julian), requested that his friend (Peter), get into position to do some push-ups.

“Now do as many as you can possibly do.  Don’t stop until you truly are certain that you cannot do any more.”

Peter struggled to 23 and then collapsed.

“No more, Julian.  This is killing me.  What are you trying to do here?”

“Are you certain that you can’t do any more?”

“I’m sure.  C’mon, give me a break.  The only lesson I’m going to learn from this is what to do for a heart attack”

“Do ten more.  Then you can rest,” commanded Julian.

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

But Peter continued and willed himself to do ten more push-ups.

“What could anyone possibly learn from an experience like this?” he asked breathlessly.

“You told me after you had done 23 that you couldn’t do any more.  You told me that this was your absolute limit.  Yet, when I challenged you to do more, you responded with another ten push-ups.  You had more inside you and when you reached for your resources, you received more.”

He went on to say, “The only limits on your life are those that you set yourself.”

I love this story because it’s a great reminder that just when we feel as though we have reached the end of our human resources, there  is still more to draw on.

Too often, we give up when we feel tired, when I suspect that we can push through and do more.

So next time you feel like giving up on an important task, remember the principle of “10 more push-ups” and know that your limits haven’t yet been reached.

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