Toothpaste, Limits, and Dreams

Two summers ago, my parents were participating in an art show. As my mom, younger sister and I unpacked our car, I began quizzing my mom on her target audience – who she was trying to sell her art to.

“What brand of toothpaste do they use?” I asked. “Who is their favourite judge on American Idol? Do they even watch American Idol, or do they prefer The Voice?” My mom didn’t have an answer for many of my questions, but she was courteous enough to invent answers for my entertainment.

Just as my mom didn’t really have a clear image of her audience (and by clear, I mean crystal; right down to the colour of their socks), I don’t have any sort of image of my blog’s “target audience”.  I think that is the beauty of art and writing. Any kind of person can appreciate any kind of art, and if you direct your art to only one type of person than you limit the people you reach!

This can also apply to life. You never know the people you could meet or the amazing experiences you could have; but if you limit yourself by only focusing on the friends you already have, or the experiences that are within your comfort zone, then you will miss out on some potentially life-changing things.

When we only look at one thing, it is all that we can see. There could be fantastic opportunities beside us, but unless we use our peripheral vision we will not see these opportunities. However if we take a step back and turn our head a bit, we will suddenly see all of the great things that we otherwise would have missed out on.

You might be reading this and thinking, “well, of course I keep an open mind in my life. Isn’t that just common sense?!” And yes, it is. However, I can think of one instance when nearly everyone has their eyes on only one thing and this is when we are pursuing a dream.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping your eyes on the prize – especially if “the prize” is a dream that means a lot to you and that you have worked hard for. However sometimes even when our eyes are focused on something amazing like our dream, we lose sight of the things around us.

We might be so caught up in following our dream that we forget to encourage others to follow theirs. Or, we might disregard great opportunities as distractions that will make us focus on something other than our dream. When we do either of these things, we limit ourselves; in the same way that picking the brand of toothpaste that my ideal reader uses limits my blog’s audience.

If you never limit yourself, then you will reach new limits. Are your eyes opened yet?

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