You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.

Helpful hands reaching out.
Helpful hands reaching out. Photo by lalesh aldarwish on

This is a lesson that parents have to learn early on, and a lesson that many leaders of the past have also had to understand. We can help people through their hardships, but we can’t get annoyed if they don’t have the strength to push themselves any further.

Instead, we have to learn when it is time to let them handle things on their own without our help.

When parents see their children falling down and tripping over themselves, they automatically want to go pick them right back up and dust them off. But if we look at this from a more practical perspective, we find that oftentimes pushing someone too quickly can end up hurting them worse. Insetad, allowing them to learn from their mistakes at a slower pace is the best course of action.

We need to make sure that we set people up for success rather than setting them up for failure. If we do this, we can give them the opportunity to succeed in life instead of forcing them down a path that is bound to end in failure.

Encouragement needs restraint and patience

We all need encouragement to succeed in life. But when you are encouraging someone during their bad times, sometimes it’s best to resist the urge because you have no idea how much more they can take before completely giving up on themselves.

Every time we push too hard and set people up for failure, we can be doing them a disservice by making them feel like they have no chance to succeed.

We need to understand when we can give up and when we should not let go, so that we can determine the best way to help the people around us who seem to be in desperate need of assistance.

When encouragement is pushed too far it becomes a burden rather than something helpful and supportive. If we mishandle the way that we push someone to become better, they can come to resent our help and think of us as being a nuisance.

We have to learn when people need us the most and when it’s time for them to handle things on their own. We can’t be so caught up in trying to help everyone around us.

We have to accept that we know more than others and that others know more than us. How many times have we been pushed into doing something we didn’t want to do? There is a fine line between encouragement and breaking someone because the task is too great for them.

Life can be tough. We all have limits and boundaries. I have many of them! A lot of people wanted me to work harder, do more, and be successful in their eyes. They didn’t stop to think and ask what my definition of success was. I was encouraged to go to university. It wasn’t for me. It was the wrong thing to do at that point in my life.

University and the relative freedoms that it gave me, made me veer off in a direction that wasn’t healthy for my body, or my state of mind. Yes, I took drugs, yes I got drunk, and that set in motion a chain of events that were a burden well into my forties.

I was too eager to live up to other people’s expectations. I didn’t have the courage to say no. I didn’t want to disappoint my father, but that’s what happened. I went to university for a year and then dropped out. I simply didn’t have the abilities nor the confidence in myself to be myself.

I’m a man with a laptop for typing, and a microphone for recording my thoughts, my experiences, and also my hopes. My confidence comes from knowing that I think this website will be successful – as defined by my definition of success. Not yours, not the bank, not a single soul on the planet, other than me, can decide what I think is successful. I hope that you have the same mindset.

I’m not going to push you, dear reader, into doing anything. You have the ultimate choice as to what you do. Maybe you’d don’t want to hear this, but I think its necessary to be pushed until we say ‘stop, that’s enough’. What we need at that point is acceptance of who we are and the willingness to try again at a later date.

I have to observe other people. I have to learn from them. I need reassurance that it’s ok to take the next step. This stems from a lack of trust. I find it difficult to have faith in an activity that I haven’t seen or done before.

I write a blog because I think it’s the right thing for me to do now. Do I want to own a publishing empire? Not at this moment. I am at a point that is as far as I’d like to go for now.

Tomorrow I may decide that yes, I’d like to take on the great publishing houses and host websites for thousands or maybe millions of people. I’ll deal with that thought tomorrow!

My hopeful and optimistic mindset.

A black and white photo of letter blocks spelling out the word 'hope'.
Hopeful photo by Lynnelle Richardson on

I hope that my blog will help others. I hope there is something positive in it for you, but I’m not going to push my blog on you. That would be foolish as well as egotistical on my part.

I want to make my mark on the world, but I’m not going to push myself over everyone else and create a disaster of shattered dreams and disappointed expectations. We all have our limits and we must accept them and live within those boundaries.

I hope that your boundaries make you feel safe without being fearful of opportunities. I don’t know whether a good kick up the backside will spur me on or make me resentful. I suppose it depends on who is doing the kicking!

I’ve received a lot of suggestions and advice throughout my life from people that haven’t been there, seen it, and done it.

Choose your mentors and advisors well. Some people will make recommendations just to see you fail.

And on that note…

Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts. Please remember to follow This Happy Human on twitter, subscribe to the mailing list, and leave comments! I’d love to know what you think.

All the best,

Matt The Happy Human

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