Threshold — the more is in you, but...
“See the kitten on the wall, sporting with the leaves that fall,
Withered leaves — one — two — and three, from the lofty elder-tree!
Through the calm and frosty air, of this morning bright and fair . . .
— But the kitten, how she starts; Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts!
First at one, and then its fellow, just as light and just as yellow;
There are many now — now one — now they stop and there are none;
What intenseness of desire, in her upward eye of fire!
With a tiger-leap half way, now she meets the coming prey,
Lets it go as fast, and then, has it in her power again:
Now she works with three or four, like an Indian Conjuror;
Quick as he in feats of art, far beyond in joy of heart.”
Recently, the stream of work I have been into required me to put in extra hours than committed, and it is justified; as for the quality of the work, we have to go an extra mile. I am a proponent of not being satisfied with “something is everything”. So it is not something to be in the comfort zone I am looking for. And it is what Islam teaches us — Ihsan — the excellence. We will be rewarded for what we did extra — no doubt.
But who defines this extra? Where’s the threshold? To what extent one should stretch its arms? There came a time when it confused me. Am I believing it the right way, or there is something wrong with the approach? As mostly an act is right, but our approach is not. So it made me think to pull out my reflection tool, and here I am after long hours of thinking and pondering what is bothering me.
I knew pouring my thoughts would not be enough, so I again go an extra mile for reflection. After long hours of idle sitting and wandering, I realized the value of the threshold. The realization made me clear who defines the threshold.
There are always two things. The one is right, and the one is wrong. But not always. Everything is not black and white. What confuses us is the grey scale. And it all starts when we are not clear on what to put in the right, the wrong, and the grey circle. The more we are not clear on making the distinctions between these circles, the more we confuse ourselves. So it is clear now that we have to move back to basics and understand how to draw circles.
Circles are the significant ingredient of the reflection tool. Now, if you are lucky enough to put yourself under the pressure of feeling what to and what not to add in circles and, more importantly, how not to confuse yourself while making distinctions between circles, it’s time to start the process.
“Threshold / the more is in you.” I have read it somewhere, put it on a sticky note, and placed it in front of my desk. It was the day when my energy was fully drained, and I was looking for some motivation to start my work, and it worked. I cannot understand how sometimes even a small quote from nowhere can work as a motivator for you, and sometimes even remembering the whys and whys not of the work you have been chosen cannot put you back to work. It’s something with our state of mind. Will leave it for another day.
Now, let’s go back to the threshold!
It’s good to think that the threshold is defined by yourself, but it’s not at all good to think that you can stretch it as much as you can. As the circumstances change, we should also edit our definitions. If you previously defined threshold as something set by yourself, then when you are suffering, you are affected, influenced, stressed out or simply not feeling well; thus your definition of threshold should be redefined from time to time.
But then you wonder what’s next after I have defined the circles of what is a threshold and what is not. And you landed on another confusion, and that is, to give up or quit.
If the threshold you define is something like replacing one hour of sleep with one hour required to earn the skill necessary to add more quality to your work, and then suddenly you are not in a position to put an extra hour, and you don’t change your definition of threshold, you will surely sink into the sea of self-doubt.
(Remember, what is meant by not being able to put in extra hours does not signify being in a comfort zone.)
That sudden moment is the time to reflect on your earlier definition of self-preservation in the threshold's circle. If you timely change the definition of threshold, you will prevent yourself to be in the power of the coming predator you may call self-doubt, fear of loss, or any other big giant ready to shatter your confidence.
As Wordsworth rightly mentions, a kitten “with a tiger-leap halfway” “let it go as fast” to catch the prey.
It’s the right moment to understand and to be understood. You Quit and not give up!