"Go ahead, do something impossible." -- Seth Godin
I recently read a great call-to-action article -- one that would make you stop and realize that you're going to die someday and there's precious little time to do what you're here to do.
But the truth is, most of us realize time is short.
Of course, we don't walk around with this knowledge at the forefront all the time, but there are quiet moments when this truly sinks in and we get it on a visceral level.
The problem, I think, is less that we're blind to the fact that we need to act fast, and is more related to the confusion about what the hell we're supposed to do.
In fact, I'd say that we might have this whole thing turned around:
It's not that you need to wake up and seize the day.
It's that you need to have a vision of what impossible thing you're supposed to do -- and that vision will allow you to let go of the protective coating that keeps you "asleep" and numb to the pain of not knowing.
It's as if you're locked inside a glass cage.
You know that you simply must escape, but you just can't seem to find a way out.
And so you become resigned to living your life in there.
That resignation comes along with an idea that maybe it's not so bad to be locked inside after all.
That idea, that "protection," will be unnecessary as soon as you know how to get out of the cage -- as soon as you know what seizing the day really looks like for you.
But for now, you keep your protection on so you're not blinded by the glare off your blank whiteboard.
I know you'd love to do something impossible.
Or if not impossible, "impressive." Or maybe something "great." Or you might settle for just "fun" -- something that made you happy.
But you have no earthly idea what that looks like.
So in lieu of something better, you just keep doing what's right in front of you.
Your boring job, for instance.
But if you could just imagine what "impossible" (or impressive, or great, or fun) looked like, you might actually go for it.
You might actually seize the day.
But sadly, the impossible is hard to imagine.
We can't imagine that our lives are constrained.
For the most part, we feel like we've freely made choices and are aware of all the possibilities.
But much like you can't "see" your cultural norms until you're in a different culture, you can't see what's constrained you until you're unconstrained.
We've forgotten how to be creative, innovative or to pioneer into "new idea" territory.
We're all so used to staying in the lines and to thinking concretely and rationally.
And so we stay stuck right smack between knowing that we'll regret never doing something impossible, and some half-baked idea of what impossible could look like.
That half-baked idea just isn't enough to give ourselves permission to step away from the rational, the prudent, and the responsible things we expect of ourselves.
But what if you could think outside the box?
What if you weren't bound by the rules you think you are bound by?
What if you finally could define whatever impossible thing you want to do?
The Hurdle of "Impossible"
Doing the impossible isn't impossible.
Stepping outside your life as you now know it and into a life powered by goals you're passionate about is really only a process of giving yourself the space to really and truly consider it.
It's only the fact that we consider the impossible "impossible" that makes it impossible.
Once we consider the impossible possible, it becomes so.
This isn't some sleight of hand trick -- just the honest reality of finally understanding that if you want something you can make it happen, even if the first thing you want is to find out what your impossible is.
I'm here to tell you that it's possible to leap the hurdle of "impossible."
It's just a problem to be solved.
The truth is you probably don't need to do something no other person on the planet has ever done before to feel that you've lived your life with no regrets.
You just need to believe that you can figure out what you want to do, and then figure out how to go and do it.
So instead of worrying that you're not smart or creative enough to really understand "impossible,"
instead of dreading your own mortality,
instead of working up the courage to seize the day in the way you think you're supposed to,
or trying to shoo away the regrets you know you'll someday have,
I invite you to start solving the problem of what your impossible really is.
And if you have no clue, solve the problem of how you'll begin to find out.
Because seizing the day for today doesn't look like jumping from airplanes or quitting your job in dramatic fashion.
It looks like asking the simple question: "What is my impossible?"
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