I’m about to attempt the impossible.

The impossible is what cannot happen. It’s settled. Finished. Forever unattainable. Don’t even think about it. Don’t even look at it. Look over here not there. That’s impossible.

The Problem

The problem with the impossible is that it keeps getting done by those who don’t believe in it. The list is long. So long, in fact, that you begin to wonder about the premise. What is impossible?

Some people look at that word as a challenge. It becomes a goal to shoot for, not an impenetrable wall. It is motivation. It’s what happens when you tell some people no.

Often it’s a group response. A crowd of people become convinced that not only is it possible, but it’s an urgent problem that needs to be solved. Now. By us! Alone, we could not do it, but together . . .

It’s Never Been Done

Some people look at that phrase and see the words “until now” hanging invisibly in the air, unread by most. They say to themselves,”Well, I’ve never tried it, so how could they know?” Or maybe we’ve never tried it. Or no one has tried it with this new technology. Or no one has tried it with this new idea.

And suddenly, at least to those of us who’ve never even thought about it, the thing is done.

Why Didn’t I Do It?

Once the impossible is done, we tend to look at how simple it was and collectively smack ourselves on the forehead because we could have done it. It looks so easy now. It’s obvious.

But that also brings the uncomfortable thought – what am I missing now that will be possible tomorrow?

Success Brings Criticism

Without fail the previously impossible is criticized. Why, that’s a waste of time. No one will want to do that. It’s not financially feasible. It won’t scale. It’s a fad. It won’t last.

This thing was deemed impossible and people want it to stay that way. What would the world come to if people started willy-nilly doing the impossible? Making the rest of us look bad. Offending people.

The nerve of some people. That looks dangerous. There should be a law against it or at least a regulation. Something that good, that we didn’t think of, must be wrong.

But What If It Needs To Be Done?

Sometimes big, seemingly impossible things need to be done. If it’s important enough to risk trying in the face of almost certain failure, then the impossible thing is the only thing you can do.

It’s not logical or practical. No one could blame you for not trying. But sometimes trying is more about who you are. You can’t live with yourself if you don’t try.

Love Brings Courage

If the thing involves someone you love then the equation changes. People find courage they didn’t know they had. Parents do amazing things for their children. What is too big a sacrifice for the one you love?

Love is more powerful than fear of failure. Danger pales before love. Courage seems the only reasonable option. People will sacrifice their own needs and desires for the one they love.

Given a contest between love and the impossible, love might just win.

The List of Impossible Things

We all have a list of impossible things – dreams, hopes and someday plans that seem beyond our ability to accomplish. They seem too big to try alone.

But I’m here to remind you that things change, that you have grown slowly to this point, that you now accomplish things that would have been impossible for your younger, less experienced self.

When we begin we face a lack of vision. Then we have a vision but lack courage. Then we find courage and lack knowledge and experience. Then we gain knowledge and experience and lack a helping hand.

But then we get that missing piece, that last part of the machine, the final key, the clue that solves the riddle.

Suddenly, finally, the impossible isn’t anymore. We see it for what it always was, a lock that opens a door. What was a wall becomes a passage. What was an end becomes a beginning.

On the list of impossible things, we place a check mark. And it becomes clear what it always was – a to-do list.


Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale via Compfight cc

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