What is it about fairy tales that captures our hearts and imagination? As children we are captivated by the magic of fairy tales that have been told over and over for generations. When my daughter was young, we were engrossed by the new wave of films such as The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, which we watched over and over until the VHS tape wore out. Why is that? What is it about those stories that appeal to us? For me it is the story of something ordinary transforming into the extraordinary. It is not just fairy tales either. Stories about Spider-Man and Indiana Jones, where the most common of men become heroes and reach extraordinary heights, interest and inspire me.
What about the rest of us? Can just plain people like you and me reach extraordinary heights and do amazing things? The answer is a resounding yes! But why don’t we? Because we have been trained to limit ourselves and put a limit on our own satisfaction. Just when you feel the excitement of doing something fantastic, a small voice within you tells you all the reasons why you can’t do it. That voice, a voice we all hear and contend with, is the combined voices of people you have encountered over the years that have trained and taught you that fairy tales are fiction, that miracles portrayed in simple stories don’t come true.
This is sometimes referred to as the “crab bucket syndrome.” It is said that if you want to keep a live crab in a bucket, put more than one crab in it. As one crab tries to climb out of the bucket, the other crab will pull it down. We are like crabs in a bucket! As soon as we try to climb out, there is always someone trying to pull us back down. In our youth, we approach the world with awe and wonder, thinking that anything is possible. We think by simply wishing hard enough and trying hard enough anything is possible. We grow up sadly disappointed that the things we once thought possible now seem impossible. How do we know things are impossible? Again, just ask the people around you. For every wonderful idea you have, there are tens to hundreds of people out there to tell you why it is impossible. They can enumerate all the reasons why your dreams cannot come true. We are surrounded by naysayers that speak with such conviction and apparent knowledge that it is hard to persevere and maintain grand thoughts and ideals. In this case, the adage that misery loves company is evident as people try to bring us down, thinking that if they can’t have happiness or great ideas, then no one can. They may not do this intentionally; it is the way they too have been trained.
As we become more mature, the magic we once felt in our youth is replaced by apathy, wonder is replaced by skepticism, and we become blind to the miracles that happen around us each day. The result is that we end up only seeing what we don’t have instead of what is possible. We only see the lack in our lives. You don’t have to live that way. There are miracles around you; all you need to do is open your eyes and see them. You can reach new heights by learning not to listen to the voices you hear that limit your potential and achievements. Use selective hearing. We all listen to what we want to listen to. The trick here is to grow in your desire to only pay attention to positive affirmations instead of negative.