There is almost nothing that frustrates me more than hearing the words, “it’s not possible.” These words are generally uttered by well intentioned people who live their lives in a “safe zone,” only doing those things that assure success. It is not uncommon to hear these words from those who may have been wounded or fallen short of their goal, and their experiences serve as a wet blanket instead of a lessons learned launch pad toward greater things. We have all encountered Debbie Downer, whose fulltime occupation it seems is to keep you grounded.
I’d prefer hearing the alternative statement, “I or we haven’t figured out how to do that yet.” I learned a long time ago that all things are possible and it starts with believing in yourself, drawing your inspiration from a more powerful source than the proverbial Debbie, and taking intelligent risks. True entrepreneurs like those at T-REX, a local business incubator, or in the cubical next to you have an amazing ability to insulate themselves from the naysayers. It’s not that they don’t have a direct communications line to those who have a view of what isn’t possible – it’s just that they don’t give that nonsense any energy. They believe more in their ability to solve the problem, which has a lot to do with what’s on the inside of them and from what or whom they derive their inspiration.
I have been told what’s not possible for most of my life. In my experience, the bigger your dreams or the more detached they are from your current reality, the more likely you’ll hear those words. When I experience people whose dreams are to disrupt the classroom to prison pipeline, or reconnect non-custodial fathers with children, or ensure that people with physical disabilities have the exact same opportunities as everyone else – I am energized. I don’t think about these challenges as too big, too complicated, or impossible – my only thought is that I hope they stretch their imaginations and don’t let past practices ground future possibilities.
In order for us to change the trajectory of a generation – we can’t let others who generally have good intentions place us in a box and prevent us from taking intelligent risks.