I recently received a fly rod as a gift and while home on vacation, I headed out to the local fly shop to have them show me how to set up the reel. While I was in the shop, I casually mentioned that I hoped this would be the start of a life long passion. The response from the gentlemen working was "no reason is can't be".
At first, I took the words in stride as part of normal conversation but as time passes, I find that there meaning behind the words is much deeper and I find myself thinking about the words each and everyday. I would venture to guess that the words were not intended as a heady lob that would cause so much pondering but rather as a statement of simplicity.
So why do these words cause one to reflect? This little phrase sums up the simple fact that at any given point when one wants to "do" something such as learn, run, bike, go to church etc, there is nothing stopping one from achieving these things. It turns out that the store clerk was right, there is no reason that fly fishing can't become a life long passion... there is no reason you can't start running, there is no reason you can't learn to play an instrument.
It turns out that "I" am the only reason I can't do something. It is our own inaction that keeps us from doing things that we want to do. The reality is that we may think we want to do something and after trying it realize that we do not like it. The point is that some action had to take place. I can think of many occasions when I think about wanting to something but I never do it, not because I can't but because my own inaction keeps me from doing it.
As I think through these words, I am reminded of the Nike slogan "Just do it". It is the same concept. Socrates stated that the unexamined life is not worth living, indeed good words to live by. If our own inaction keeps us on the couch, are we not living an unexamined life?
Next time you think you may want to try something new or learn something new think about the phrase "no reason you can't" and remember that the only thing standing in your way of doing the things you want to do or being the person you want to be is you.