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Saying 'the Sky's the Limit' Is No Longer Appropriate

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.


The Sky Is Not the Limit

Hundreds of years ago, the sky was the limit. The idiom was said long ago before Orville and Wilbur Wright invented the first airplane.

The brothers were two American aviators who were credited with inventing and flying the world's first successful airplane. They made their initial flight on their aircraft on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

At that time, people were excited about the progress and they began saying the sky was the limit because it really was at that time. It was only as far as people could look up and see. However, after 115 years, the sky is no longer the limit.

Hundreds of thousands of flights have been in the sky since then, but people still use the expression.


So much has happened since the Wright Brothers' maiden flight so long ago. Jets, helicopters, and airplanes of every kind have been in the sky since then. With the invention of spaceship, rockets, and technology, astronauts have proven that the sky is not the limit. They have gone to outer space which is far beyond the sky. That's why saying the sky's the limit is no longer true.

Many Americans and astronauts from other countries have been to the moon. That's proof that the sky's no longer the limit. Men and women have gone beyond the sky and landed on the moon many times.

Astronaut Scott Kelly spent 11 months in outer space at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. He and his twin brother, Mark, were astronauts before they both retired from NASA. Scott retired on April 1, 2016. Mark retired on June 21, 2011. The Kellys know without a shadow of a doubt that the sky's not the limit because they have seen with their own eyes that there is much beyond the sky.

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People Have Gone to Outer Space

It has not been unusual for astronauts to go to outer space. In recent months, civilians have been on trips to outer space.

As of September 15, 2021, a total of 578 people from 41 countries have gone into space, and they were not all astronauts. That is an increase from January 2018, when 553 people from 37 countries had traveled to space.

Plans are being made for more people to go far beyond the sky to see things for themselves. They will be able to attest to the fact that the sky is not the limit not as it once was.

What Should We Say Instead

When people believe the sky's the limit, they predict how far they can go and how much they can do successfully. They put limitations on themselves and by saying the sky's the limit they block their progress and cannot go any farther.

If we do not say the sky's the limit, then we are open to possibilities beyond our imagination and wildest dreams. When we say, “The sky’s the limit” that's as far as we will ever go.

So, what should we say instead of saying, “The sky’s the limit” since it is an outdated expression? For starters, we can realize that there is so much beyond the sky, and we can refrain from saying, "the sky's the limit" because it is not. Scott and Mark Kelly, Neil Armstong, Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn, Sally Ride, Mae Jemison, and many others have proven to us that there is much more beyond the sky.

Therefore, it is safe to say, "My limit is beyond the sky."


The Bottom Line

"The sky's the limit" was appropriate before man knew how to reach the sky. Now that men and women have reached the sky and gone beyond the sky, it is time for people to stop limiting themselves by repeating an outdated expression. Unfortunately, that expression is stuck in people's minds, and they live their lives believing there are limitations to what they can and cannot do.

If this article makes sense to you, perhaps it is time to find something else to say that is really true. If you can think of something more appropriate to say, please feel free to post it in the comments section below.


Howard L Taylor on May 22, 2020:

As you may know, I go to Kill Devil Hills, NC at least 2x per year and I never get tired of walking around the Wright Brother's Memorial. There is a very long hill to climb to get to the memorial and depending on how often I walked before getting there determines how quickly I can make it up that hill. Generally, the wind is blowing as I walk which really take me back in time. Thanks for the memory. I missed going this year in May due to the virus.

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