We have sold ourselves a lie. I do not say this to be cynical, I say this because the lie itself is cynical. We have a convinced ourselves that it is possible to achieve anything we put our minds to. If this were true, then Stephen Hawking should have been an astronaut, or he should at least have travelled to space as he had dreamt of doing. He was a man with a brilliant mind, and yet he was bound to the earth, confined to a chair.
We are not all created with the same strengths or the same weaknesses; some of us are better suited to certain tasks than others. This is a perfectly acceptable way of being, yet we have facilitated the belief that any one person can achieve whatever they desire. We have convinced ourselves that we have the ability to do anything, so we spend our time dreaming of the possibilities instead of acknowledging what we are actually a good at.
This way of thinking does have negative side effects. When a person fails, we rationalize that it is simply a matter of them not trying hard enough, rather than recognizing that they may be ill-equipped for that task. The latter may sound cruel, but within this logic there is release. Failure has the ability to haunt the psyche by recycling negative thoughts, and can compel a person to doubt their efforts in the future when they see their sheer lack of will as the cause for their failure. However, incompetency does not always materialize from a lack of effort; sometimes there is nothing an individual could have done to succeed at the task at hand.
If we could examine ourselves subjectively, we could see the limitations in our strengths and in our weaknesses, and pursue the things that are within our means. We could find peace and acceptance within these individual assessments, understanding that when we have tried and failed it is not necessarily because of a deficiency in will or effort, but because we do not have the aptitude, skill, or desire to succeed in that particular field, and that is okay. I believe more people would be able to find peace within themselves if they could accept this fact, instead of falling for the idiom that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Should we not cease this way of thinking, we pit our minds against our selves.