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  • Office Address: 3, Ilupeju Bye Pass, Ilupeju, lagos, Nigeria
  • (+234) 810 504 3946

The Limit Paradigm

By Wuraola Bello

Via Slickgold Blog.


Very crucial if you want to get far. You have to know your limit. Know when to call it quit. Know when to pause. While growing up and conversations of this sort comes up between a Nigerian mum and her child…

Child: Mummy, your stomach is so big (Pregnant mum)

Mum: yes, your baby is inside.

Child: where will ‘baby’ come out from?

The response is automatic – Will you shut up! Did you clean your room today? Have you done your homework? This child obviously does not know his/her limit. How do you expect mummy to answer such question? That knowledge is reserved for elders only. It is a sacred knowledge!

So I once read, during a surgery procedure for a vivacious thirty-seven years old Elaine Bromiley who has been suffering from sinus. The surgery is a quite routine just as CS is carried out on pregnant women. The surgeon in charge of Elaine’s is very experienced but problems started when Elaine was given anaesthetics. The surgeon couldn’t get oxygen into her via a face mask so he had to use a laryngeal mask but couldn’t insert them. He tried all he could but couldn’t insert the tubes because she had a blocked windpipe which is very unusual. The most experienced among the three nurses knew what next, a tracheostomy (a tracheostomy means a hole cut directly into the throat and a tube inserted into the wind pipe. That’s all!). She ran to get the kit and announced, a tracheostomy but the surgeon was struggling to force the laryngeal tubes down Elaine’s blocked nose. The nurse knew her “limit”, she felt that she couldn’t voice out her thought while an experienced surgeon is on duty. It is not a learning class. Flash news, thirty-seven year old Elaine died leaving a widower and two young children behind because the nurse knew her “limit”. There are so many things to learn from Elaine Bromiley’s story. Find the full details of her case on google.

Limit means you know how far you can go or how far you are willing to push forward. Look at the definition right, limit is how far you are permitted to go. How far you are willing to push yourself to go. How far you expect yourself to go. One thing is for you to know your limit. Another is for you to examine your will and the third is to know the value you place on your limit.


According to google, this is what limit is defined as ‘a point or level beyond which something does not or may not extend or pass’. Another definition is ‘a restriction on the size or amount of something permissible or possible’.

That child that asked where babies come out from, trust me, that child asked an innocent question. He only expected one in return. The child cannot even understand the whole science behind birthing a baby – so a simple answer of “the doctor will bring out the baby when the time is due” would have satisfied that child’s anxiety. There is no need to complicate things unnecessarily. By the time you make it sound mysterious, children are very inquisitive, they go to any length to get their questions answered. Danny may even go back to mummy saying …ehn ehn, I have done my homework. Where will baby come out from? Mummy, you have to answer this time you know.

I attended one of the best Federal Secondary Schools in Nigeria, F.GG.C. Sagamu, we are the famous ‘Saggy Girls’ you hear around.  I used to be very timid. I didn’t know how to make friends. And if was able to make one, we didn’t last up to three months as close friends, how sad! Maybe because I was boring. I just didn’t know how to keep them around long enough. Sad face. Well, it eventually took its toll on my education. I rescinded academically because I couldn’t find my place among my peers. Honestly, it was really bad. My mum and dad, God bless them. They were sooo understanding because they knew I wasn’t so bad intellectually but my grades were really bad. I mean, came 53rd among 56 students – did  I hear you sigh…  AWW, it was really bad. Then my dad gave me the advice that changed me forever till date. He said, make friends with intelligent people so that you can copy what they do and how they behave till you can get your grades up. I took him seriously but there was a problem. How do you expect a dull boring girl like me to walk up to the brilliant students and say ‘hey, I want to be your friend and you can’t say no, you are stuck with me’. Mehn, that was so hard if you know how ‘Saggy girls’ are. That was so hard.

Eventually I noticed my front seatmate, was usually nice to me. She was not the best student in the class but she was good. Her name is Ann. She was close friends with one of the best students in the class, Siju. I remember a teacher asked a question in the class one time and nobody seemed to know the answer but somehow, I had a clue so I raised my hand. I was surprised that nobody else’s hand was raised. Siju was like ‘who is that?’ OMG, see me shivering inside, Ahh! You now that feeling you get when you were thinking you had all the money and Dangote says he is coming to pay a visit…LOL, and at this time, I was really planning to become friends with Siju and Ann. So I knew I had to choose between maintaining my lane or daring to be friends with Ann and especially, Siju. Well, I had a lot of trials, but I did it. Siju saw me as a friend. Ann did too. And most importantly, I achieved my aim. I got better grades. My Junior WAEC result was great. This is like one of my best achievement so far – subsequently, you will learn about the other achievements.

Bottom line, I challenged my capabilities. I push the bar of my limit a little bit high. It didn’t come easy, but I persevered. I studied the way they studied. I put my self-esteem in line for better grades. I swallowed the little pride I had in me. If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. I am changing this already.

As time goes by, I watch people struggle with not being contented about their social status, about the kind of money they have, the job they do among many other things. When I analyse the way they talk,  there is a trend. I notice they have put a limit in how much they want to do to change their current status. I know someone is reading this and has his eyes on building a mansion but cannot make extra efforts to get him the resources he needs. A colleague once made a joke that ‘it is like I am going into politics. There is easy money there.’ It was a clear joke but I know, many people have become political thugs because of this joke. They are the ones who do the dirty works for politicians thinking they do will become a successor someday.  The Nigerian economy has put an imaginary limit to how high her youth can dream. There is this placard people carry vividly in their minds, go to school, become a graduate, yet no job when you are done, hmmm.

Do not limit your dreams do not limit how far your labour will take you. You have to be committed to your goals. Set realistic objectives. Ayrton Senna said “And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high” – now, that’s your dream. Surprise yourself by becoming your dream. There is no limit to what you can do except the one set by you. It is not too late – yet.