Believing in the Impossible
“There is no man living that cannot do more than he thinks he can.” Henry Ford was living proof of his quote and yesterday a man was elected to the presidency of the United States who proved that as well. This will not be a political post. It is about encouraging us all to stop outside of any box someone or we have placed ourselves in and try. Attempt the impossible… because it just might happen.
There is really only way one to make the impossible happen and that is to believe it can. You must believe in the possibility of the impossible becoming possible. And no, I have not gone crazy or am trying to win a bet using the word possible or its variations as many times as I can in one sentence. Lewis Carrol wrote of this in his “Alice in Wonderland.”
“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’ ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
In his autobiography “The Crack-Up”, F. Scott Fitzgerald speaks of this. “Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation– the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the “impossible,” come true.”
Ah but the book is titled “The Crack-Up” you might be thinking. Isn’t is crazy to believe the impossible to be possible? After all, they are contradictory terms. Yes they are. Perhaps the true question of value is “Are those terms factual?” In fact, is it even possible to define something as impossible?
Sigmund Freud once said “It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.” We might inquire of Dr. Freud by what standard of measurement would he define the impossible.
History is full of impossible things becoming possible. Last year during this season of Epiphany we discussed people who had their own great epiphanies and invented new things, some of which would have been deemed impossible at one time. They were people who attempted the impossible or unknown and not only made it possible but also known and popular, used in everyday life.
Believe that you are weak and you will be. Believe that you are forever handicapped and you will never thrive. Lee Wise wrote a really powerful sentence about this. “Belief in what matters most holds the power of creating legacies that matter most in the long run.” I believe in you and your power to live a life of intention, a life that will better the world … for you, for me, and for tomorrow.