As I understand, the expression means that there should be no mental barrier in a person’s mind about his potential to rise to any level or status. He can dream of any achievement and realise that dream if he has the determination and ability to rise to challenges faced by him. These are of course two big ifs due to which the sky is not overcrowded with achiever’s! But there are thousands of examples of persons who realised almost impossible dreams. Running a race of 1 mile under 4 minutes by Roger Bannister was one such celebrated achievement at a time when it was thought impossible cross the 4 minute barrier. Bannister went on to become an outstanding Neurologist with many achievements in that field. He rated his contribution in that field as a towering achievement and not his running. Sky was the limit for him in that field. The hero of Chariots of fire was also an example of outstanding achievement through sheer determination and effort. Mathematician Ramanujan and human computer Shakunthala Devi were naturally gifted achiever’s who amazed the world apparently without toil.
Another equally awe inspiring legendary achievement was that of ace flyer Douglas Bader who physically and literally reached for the sky. He lost both legs in an air crash and was discharged as a cripple from RAF in 1931. He was told he would never fly again.Fired by his strong will he made it to the cockpit of a Spitfire, led a squadron and became one of the biggest heroes of the WWII. He even learned to dance, swim, play tennis and golf.
Athletics and other sports records keep tumbling every now and then, albeit by a very small margin every time. Even in academics we have had examples of the youngest doctors, youngest scientists, mathematicians and so on. Lately there are youngest hackers, youngest software developers, inventors and entrepreneurs. The future looks even more promising for those aspiring to achieve goals previously thought to be beyond their age. Perhaps the day is not far when a teenager will qualify for Nobel.
Despite all these spectacular achievements in various fields I am inclined to believe that nature of limits cannot be belittled. It is true that with the passage of time people will set newer and newer records but this will be at a decelerating pace. For instance the average life expectation has been going up only marginally. There has been no person more than 9 feet tall. None has run a mile under 31/2 minutes or 100m in under 9.5 seconds. The highest pole vault by a man is 6.18 metres (20 feet 3.3 inches), achieved by Armand Duplantis on 15th Feb this year. Thus it would seem there are realistic limits to every possible achievement.
There are two types of exponential curves in graphs. Both rise with reference to the Y axis(vertical axis) as the value of x rises. It However one type rises at a decreasing rate till the rise is negligible and tends to become flat. The other rises faster and faster as if wanting to shoot off towards the sky. For the latter the sky is the limit. In economics prices of goods appear to be follow this latter path. Wealth accumulation in the hands of an individual also has this characteristic. The first $M is difficult to accumulate. Then it has a momentum of its own and rises faster and faster unless arrested by taxation. However in all efforts of human achievement the first type is more common and the increment tapers off and tends to become flat hitting the upper limit.
Finally sky can be defined as the space between your feet on the ground and what is above you if you look up standing in open air. If you and I are in different parts of the globe then my up can be your down! Naturally your sky is not mine. It is best not to worry about it as a limit! Fortunately the world is spinning on its axis completing a round every single day serving as an equal opportunity provider.
This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, Padmum, Ramana, Shackman and Conrad. This week’s topic was suggested by Sanjana. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.