The 21st Century, An age of limitations?

“Life has no expectations except the ones you make”

During an AWiB English Conversational Class, one of the AWiB members presented the topic; self-imposed limitations.  At the time, I didn’t think much of this subject area. We discussed about how the society possess limitations on us and how our minds also obstructs us. Such that we set goals such as traveling or getting a promotion but we rarely achieve it because we do not make the conscious effort. The class then spoke about how self-imposed limitations are tied to a person’s self-image. It is until a person truly believes he/ she is capable and worthy; he/she will always remain to under perform no matter what. The conventional thinking around this subject area is that social expectations frame us and in doing so also limit us. While i am in agreement to this, I now ask myself, is this enough of an explanation? What if the 21st century, an age where we are tasked by so many roles and responsibilities, stands to paralyze us and impose limitations?

In the 21st century we are living in a time where new technology is being developed every day and life is moving at a much faster pace than ever before. Restlessness I believe is caused by modern civilizations taxing effect on the nervous system. And the feeling of restlessness means that we limit ourselves from getting the job done.

For instance at the turn of the 20th century many people have moved away from farms to the city taking jobs in the new industrial economy. Here in Addis, we are witnessing the effects of rapid urbanization. Why I feel we are restless is that our expectations have not kept pace with the changing technology and culture of the 21st century. With the advent of internet, cell phones, social media etc… technology has transcended boundaries and sprung in the past few decades allowing us to be more connected globally. We literally have a wealth of information at our fingertips. Our minds are saturated with vast possibilities the world has to offer and we feel that these possibilities are just within our reach. The reality is however; our lives have not changed much. We may be able to access tons of information instantly on the web but it still takes us just as long to read and absorb information; and this will always remain.

So there is a gap between our expectations about the world and how we really experience it, and this is a cause for limitations. We may feel like we have the whole world within our reach but we can never seem to grasp it. This makes us anxious and overwhelmed thus limiting us.  There are so many possibilities and choices out there that we do not know where to start. While waiting for our entry point to just dive in, we remain limited. Is this so? There is a famous proverb that goes “Life has no expectations except the ones you make”, but what if life itself is a limitation?