One morning I was making Sunday breakfast for my two daughters. Eggs, toast, juice and children’s nutritional shakes were the order of the day. They saw the bounty in front of them and started chowing down.

About halfway into their plates they each asked for more, even though their pace had slowed down considerably.

Of course Dad came up with the usual lines. "I'll make you more when you're finished with what you have. Your eyes are bigger than your appetite." And of course, they barely finished what they had and weren’t interested in more, but I had to admire their ambition.

The more I thought about that old expression, it occurred to me that many people have that problem in reverse: their appetites are bigger than their eyes.

My kids saw the bounty in front of them and decided they wanted to partake in everything Dad, the refrigerator, the stove and the blender could put forth. A rather ambitious pair, these two. But they were not self-limiting. Of course they would need discipline and someone to pull in the reins. But I was happy to see my kids approach breakfast (and by extension, life) with such gusto!

Look at the old expression in reverse. If your appetite is bigger than your eyes, you need more than you can see yourself getting. The vision you have for yourself is not sufficient t sustain you.

Imagine people who are chronically hungry. (Of course this is a real life situation for millions around the world). If a typical diet for a healthy person is 2000 calories, and only 1000 or fewer are available (and let's imagine for the sake of comparison that it's a nutrient poor diet), this person will probably adjust his or her body's metabolism and functioning to exist on this number of calories. And as a result, they will have fewer capabilities than someone who is well-nourished and fed.

Now take this metaphor to other resources: money, education, love, spirituality, a sense of achievement and purpose. Of course, you learn to make due with less when you must. But in the process, your expectations of life get narrower. You seek out a smaller piece of the pie, or even settle for the crumbs that fall on the floor after the important people have finished eating.

After a long enough period of being deprived, your eyes become small. You can't see anything better for yourself.

Who do you know whose appetite has become bigger than their eyes? How can we help these people regain their vision and feed their need?

I suppose the answer is different for each situation, but I believe it starts with helping someone to meet the needs they currently see for themselves and letting them raise their own level of expectations...their own vision at the pace they choose for themselves.

And if YOU are the person whose eyes need to grow, you must find someone who has what you need and let them teach you how to get to that same place.

Author's Bio: 

Larry Hochman is the founder of NO MORE HOLDING BACK. He helps individuals and groups break through self-imposed limitation and achieve success in business, careers, relationships and happiness. He is a long-time educator, counselor, author and entertainer. Join the free NO MORE HOLDING BACK support and networking community at