I read an interview with Johnny Cash’s daughter, Rosanne, where she said he taught her that a person’s musical style is more a function of their limitations than a function of their skills.
This idea struck me as really interesting. I wondered if it applied to other areas of our lives as well?
Do we chose professional paths because of personal weaknesses instead of strengths? Or, how about what type of exercise we select?
My professional path is forged out of what I am passionate about and feel skilled to do. So, cash’s contention doesn’t seem to fit there. The physical activities I select are definitely related to what I can do, but they are also due to what I can’t. If I had different knees, I would probably be interested in running a marathon. (At least try it once!) But, given this limitation, I won’t attempt it. In some ways that feels like a limitation.
Yet, I am also thinking that the notion that personal styles for music or being physically active is due to “limitations” and “strengths” instead maybe a misperception. Aren’t any “limitations” and “strengths” we have simply us? Don’t they just reflect how our unique bodies function and our preferences?
Maybe the very idea of limitations and strengths is only valid in the context of comparing ourselves to others….
I know this post may seem like a stretch! But, I’ve been thinking about this all day.
When it comes to evaluating what our bodies can do in any moment, whether in song or movement, maybe we are better off focusing on the unique aspects of effort and capacity rather than categorizing it as a limitation or strength?
I welcome any thoughts or reactions to this idea that you might have.