Regardless of your views on religion, Dr. Metcalf’s comments on motivation and accomplishment are worth reading.
Sometimes we feel as if much of life is a waste of time. There is so much that is lost amid our many preoccupations. It seems impossible to make every moment count. We procrastinate. We daydream and we “while away” the time. So little of our attention is directed toward things that really matter. So often our focus is diverted to that which is peripheral and inconsequential. There is so much to do, and we do not have the time and energy to do it. There is so much to say and not enough words to say it. Where will we find the will to be all we are capable of being? Where is the heart for the difficult task and the perseverance for the weary journey?
It is easy to give up when our vision exceeds our resources. Discouragement sets in when we see so much and accomplish so little. Often it is the cause for doing nothing. Why should we spin our wheels and never make progress toward our destination? If we cannot do everything, why do anything? Failure comes in different packages. Sometimes it is an over-exaggerated ambition. We lose ourselves before we get started. We bite off more than we can chew. We focus on the finishing before we have prepared for the beginning. Too much ambition can be as bad as no ambition. Often the results are the same.
What then is our potential? Our greatest achievements may not come in trying to do everything, but in doing a few things well. Our greatest lessons may be in learning our weaknesses as well as our strengths. The ability to accept our limitations may equip us to highlight our possibilities. No one can be best at everything. Everyone can enjoy being who they are and how their gifts define them. Life is too short to be frustrated by the impossible. It is long enough, however, to pursue the possible and celebrate the joy of doing our best.
We are blessed indeed when we find the power to persevere at the level of our personal performance. Our most depressing sin is trying to do more than or less than the level of our potential. Our most promising virtue is to work and to put our work in perspective as we leave the rest to God.