Trust Me, It’s Possible

reflectionYour big idea.  In the beginning it feels impossible.  On one hand, you know that can’t be true.  Very few ideas are actually impossible.  But on the other hand it doesn’t really seem possible either.  It seems so unclear.  So far away.  So hard.  So foreign.  It can paralyze you.

I’ve been there.  It’s a horrible feeling.  You don’t know how to proceed.  Should I ditch the idea?  Should I pursue it?  How long should I give myself?

Having gone through this ringer many times in my life (so far), I always come to the same conclusion after torturing myself for a while.  It was much more possible than it seemed in the beginning.

Impossibility was an illusion brought on by fear, a misstep, a failed attempt, a bad day, a bad week, lack of sleep, a crappy interaction, inexperience.  When you push through these things, you see things for what they are.  Highly possible.

Here are a few suggestions for pushing through impossible to possible:

  • Describe the future clearly, as best you can right now – Write up where you want to be 1 year from today.  Keep it simple.  One sheet of paper maximum.  Be very specific.  What will you have actually achieved?  What will you be doing?  How will you be feeling?  Specificity makes things seem more possible.  Try to do this in less than an hour.  I’ve found the more time you spend on this exercise the less powerful it is.  It becomes too over-engineered.
  • Move faster – When you don’t know what you’re doing, the tendency can be to slow down to figure it all out before you move forward.  The problem is you need to move forward to figure it out.  When your instincts tell you to slow down, speed up instead.  Stagnation breeds thoughts of impossibility.
  • Spend more time with people who are up to big things – People who are up to big things necessarily default to seeing things as possible.  They have to in order to execute their ideas.  Figure out how to hang around them more.  Listen to their ideas.  Share your intended future.  Help each other.

Comments

  1. Marko V. says:

    I like this post… from my experience “Move faster” is the most practical advice for overcoming obstacles. The most dangerous thing you can do is to slow down.

    Maybe you know this story from the book of Henry Ford:

    “When Henry Ford decided to produce his famous V-8 motor, he chose to biuld an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and instructed his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers agreed, to a man, that it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder engine-block in one piece.

    Ford replied,”Produce it anyway.”

    That’s the attitude of a man that will make a big idea into a big success.

  2. marian levitt says:

    Very good article. I have seen this to be true. Thanks for clarifying.

    Marian

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