“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” – Robert Browning
Your reach will always exceed your grasp. This isn’t just you – it’s everyone. Our minds can dream up things in a fraction of a second, but nothing worth doing happens in a fraction of a second.
Additionally, the world has the wonderfully mysterious and frustrating way of being different than the way we imagined it. The elusiveness of the world wreaks havoc on us when we expect the idea of what it’s like to do something to match the reality of doing that thing. It rarely does, and though we might enjoy the gifts of the mystery, we usually don’t adjust the plan and expectations we had in the first place.
This is why a fertile mind can be both a blessing and a curse. Just like a fertile garden, any seed of an idea planted there can grow and flourish. However, the soil itself is indiscriminate about what and how much grows there – it doesn’t care whether it’s supporting prize roses or common crabgrass. It simply supports what grows there to the limit it can support.
What limits the growth of the garden itself are the external conditions that determine what, when, how, and why things grow there, but the condition that’s the most limiting to the garden of the mind is time. Time is one of the few things we can’t create, destroy, alter, or bend; no matter who you are, there is a finite number of seconds that you’ll have in a given lifetime.
You can prune the garden for ideas you don’t need to manifest. You can change the nature of your garden so that some ideas thrive and others never see the light of day. You can change the externalities around you so you receive the beneficial winds and water from your physical and social environment. You can change the rate at which some ideas grow.
But, amidst all of the things you can change, you have a limited number of seconds to manifest change in the world. (Click to tweet – thanks!)
As with any other garden, the constraints of time dictate that more seeds will fall than take root. Your ability to conceive will always be limited by your ability to manifest, and thus, your reach will always exceed your grasp.
The question, then, is not whether you will be able to complete everything you think you can do; no matter how much you do, there will still be things undone. The question is whether you’re grasping the right things and whether you can accept that you never had a hold of the rest. Once you accept that, you don’t need to try to let go of the rest, since there’s no need to let go of what you never had in the first place.