I had originally planned to write about this topic at a later date, but something I read yesterday prompted me to address it much sooner. If there’s one thing that gets me “fired up” and even more determined, it’s when someone tells me that something I’m working hard to achieve is “impossible”.
In my mind, to say that something is “impossible” is to openly admit defeat. It discourages starting or even trying. It’s making an excuse for failure. It’s giving up. It’s quitting. It’s surrendering without offering any resistance whatsoever. It’s denying any and all possibility that something could occur and deciding that it cannot happen under any circumstance. To say that something is “impossible” completely disregards human perseverance, ingenuity, will, effort, and creativity. It also rejects the nebulous influence of magic, luck, miracles—and even Divine Intervention. Saying that something is “impossible” is deciding for the entire world that this thing cannot ever be done, period.
How can anyone truthfully say that something is impossible? It’s not that something is impossible, it just hasn’t been done yet.
The word “impossible” is a relative term for, what is not possible to one may simply be a challenge to another. Did the ancient Greek philosophers, Pythagorus or Aristotle allow contemporary beliefs that the Earth was flat deter them from proving otherwise? No. Did Helen Keller use her deafness, blindness, and inability to speak as an excuse to prevent her from earning a university degree and becoming a teacher of the disabled? No. Did Charles Lindberg let skeptics keep him from crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the first non-stop Trans-Atlantic flight? Certainly not! It’s because these forward-thinkers decided that anything was possible.
Just over 100 years ago, nearly everyone thought that human flight was impossible. Before the 1930’s, few could even comprehend the concept of television, much less believe that such a thing could exist. What about space flight? Radio? Telephone? Computers? The list could go on and on. If all these things were once “impossible”, then how is it that today we are able to circumnavigate the world in hours, travel to the moon, and communicate instantly—with nearly anyone, anywhere in the world?
It’s because anything is possible!
Many years ago, someone of authority and experience once told me that I could not succeed in maintaining a full-time job while attending an intensive 6-month career training program. He told me that graduation under those circumstances was “impossible”. He was wrong. I graduated. Not only did I graduate, I graduated in the top ten of a class with nearly forty others. I can’t say it was easy—in fact, it wasn’t. It was extremely difficult. But difficult is difficult. Difficult is not impossible.
Those who use the word “impossible” to describe an endeavor reject every possibility or circumstance except failure. When one ascribes to this way of thinking, they not only place limits upon themselves, they impose them on others as well. As long as we allow someone else to decide what is—or is not possible for us, we have absolutely no control over our own future and, most likely, very little chance of succeeding at anything. Only we can decide what is possible or impossible for ourselves.
To those who may wish to limit themselves, I would say—please do! Go right ahead. Feel free to limit yourself all you want—but please don’t impose limitations on me or anyone else by falsely claiming any authority to decide for us what is possible and what is not.
Why not? Because anything is possible!
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