Impossible Is an Opinion!

by Krantcents · 35 comments

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Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” (Muhammad Ali)  Don’t tell me it is impossible, but find a way to succeed!

Background

When I was a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Consultant and entrepreneur, I often heard that statement. I remember bankers telling me it was impossible too.  At one time or another, I think I heard a colleague or friend tell me some idea was impossible.  Do you think Bill Gates or Steve Jobs may have heard those words too?  There will always be doubters out there, but you can choose not to be one of them.

I saw firsthand how my parents did the impossible. They started businesses at probably the worst time in history.  My father started a business in the early 1920’s and my mother started a business just before the Great Depression.  Their businesses flourished for thirty plus years and twenty-seven (27) years respectively.  They were willing to put themselves out there although it was difficult.

Words like impossible make me smile!  See, I like the word because it means that few people can do it.  That is one of the reasons, they call it impossible.  Is it ever really impossible?  I often talk to my students about the impossible.  I remember a fellow student in high school who was short (5 ft. 8 in.) could dunk the basketball.  I am sure he was told it was impossible, but he worked and worked on it until he could do it.

Maybe, he should have given up because he was too short.  The coach was not looking for someone to dunk.  The coach just wanted players who could shoot a basket consistently with a high probability of making the basket.  Winning teams are looking for players that work well together and consistently win.  Whether it is a sports team or a business, you are faced with obstacles or an impossible goal.

There are many inventions or perhaps a whole industry that was once considered impossible.  Things like fire, flying, electricity, telephone, sending a rocket to the moon or the internet was once impossible.  More recently, if you told me I could carry around an iPhone or tablet and connect to the internet ten (10) years ago, I would have thought you were crazy or it was impossible.

Five Steps to Success

Believe in yourself

Let’s face it; there is a long list of things that people said were impossible!  Someone or a team of people believed that could do it and it happened.  It is the start of getting any impossible goal done.  You have to believe you can do it in order to succeed.  I think there are a lot of people who believe in something, but more importantly have the skills and a plan to make it happen.  It is called a vision!

Problem solving skills 

They treat the impossible as a problem and just solve it.  It may take someone brilliant, a team or a whole company to solve it, but it started out as impossible. You start with the outcome, goal or solution and work backwards.

  • Identify the problem.
  • Gather information or alternatives.
  • Create possible solutions.
  • Make a decision.
  • Evaluate your results.

Establishing a goal or outcome and treating it like it is just a problem is the start of the solution.  There is no guarantee of solving every problem, but you need to approach it positively.

Start small

Small changes work when you want to change habits or behaviors!  Starting small can work for the impossible too.  I used to take huge goals and break them down into small daily/weekly /monthly tasks in conjunction with a long range plan.  You need to use SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) and have an action plan.  A plan makes the impossible achievable!

Determination

Surprise, everyone fails!  Successful people probably fail more than once, but they keep going and succeed.  They are more determined to succeed   than other people.  Determination is simply not giving up!  It is when you made the decision to do something and you will not let anything or anyone stop you.  It is a commitment to success.  How committed are you to your goals?

Reflection

Self reflection is very important!  Thinking about your success or failures is an opportunity to learn.  You can apply what you learn from success and learn from your mistakes.  What would you do differently to achieve different results?  You learn much more from your failures or mistakes than success.  Reflecting on success and failure teaches you to make changes and improve your results.  It is a good process to improve decision making.

Final Thoughts

Nothing is impossible!  No one point is enough to do the impossible.  It takes a strong belief in yourself and the project, good problem solving skills, breaking down huge goals, determination and reflection.  I do not mean to simplify the process because there are many obstacles.  You need to monitor your progress and adjust your efforts along the way.  Anyone can do the impossible, but only a few attempt it.  Are you one of them?    Impossible is an opinion!

Photo by chucknado

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{ 34 comments }

Greg@ClubThrifty April 11, 2013 at 4:37 am

Wow! Great article Krantcents!!! I’m fired up and ready to go now. Starting small is a big key. The big picture can often seem overwhelming. However, if you break things up into small parts, you can accomplish things you never realized you could do. I love the Ali quote as well. Very well done, my friend!

Krantcents April 11, 2013 at 7:00 am

Thanks, it has become my mantra! I have been using this technique for more than 40+ years. Anything is possible!

John S @ Frugal Rules April 11, 2013 at 5:43 am

Very nice article! I think for some, that looking at things as impossible shows they have a lack of vision and the ability to attack that vision. Starting small is huge as is being determined to reach whatever said goal/desire is. It’s much easier to give up, those that don’t are much more likely to make it possible!

Krantcents April 11, 2013 at 7:03 am

Thanks, I see kids give up all the time. Mostly because they have failed too often. Breaking it down is just one way to overcome a problem.

Money Beagle April 11, 2013 at 6:54 am

I think one thing you have to do is learn from others, including their mistakes. I recently talked to someone who said that they have a family member that just opened a bar/restaurant. They had remarkable offerings but a comment was thrown out their almost as an aside, basically stating, “Yeah, it’s in a location that isn’t so great…a few other restaurants have opened and closed there.’ That’s kind of a red flag to me, that if others can’t make it there, maybe it’s just not a good location period, and even the best ideas and offerings in the world might not be enough. Time will, but I think you have to be willing to look at and learn from experiences of others, including failures.

Krantcents April 11, 2013 at 7:57 am

I agree, that is part of reflection on your decisions and maybe others too. There may be other reasons why others fail and you can succeed. You have to evaluate “all the data” to make an informed decision.

William @ Bite the Bullet April 11, 2013 at 9:20 am

Great article! Start small, like Greg says, is important. But to me the really big one is determination. As Winston Churchill said in the darkest days of WW2: “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in…”

Krantcents April 11, 2013 at 10:02 am

I have often said what separates me from the rest is my determination. I never ever give up, but I may have to change my strategy.

CashRebel April 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm

A senior executive at my company recently asked me for something that I know to be impossible. Its against the rules and no one has ever done it before, and I was about to tell him that. Instead I decided to go back and see if we could bend the rules. Im almost positive that ill fail, but it’s silly to just give up and claim its impossible.

Krantcents April 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I like your attitude, but don’t compromise your values or do anything illegal.

Alan@escapingmydebt April 11, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Great article. I think starting small is key here for problem solving skills. It is something you acquire over time, not something you learn immediately. The outline you provide is perfect textbook.

Krantcents April 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Thanks, I guess I have been out of school for so long (45 years), I formed my own idea of problem solving.

Chim@onestoppersonaldevelopment April 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm

As hard as it may be to accept, few things are truly impossible. Declarations of impossibility are really a reflection of the limits of the human experience. We say something is impossible because we’ve never seen it done before. History is littered with examples of this. The best approach is to view impossibility as an assumption and test it through action and perseverance. More often than not you’ll find that it’s not impossible.

Krantcents April 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I agree, nothing is impossible! You may not achieve everything, but much more is possible than we realize.

Matt Becker April 12, 2013 at 5:53 am

Great article! I especially like the part about taking small steps. So many people try to change their lives in huge sweeping movements but the real key to lasting change is small incremental improvements. Thanks for the insights!

Krantcents April 12, 2013 at 6:55 am

Thanks, small changes works! Big sweeping changes in many cases so not.

Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin April 12, 2013 at 5:57 am

I love this statement! So very true, people’s biggest obstacles are usually their own self doubt!

Krantcents April 12, 2013 at 6:56 am

Thanks, I embraced it as my mantra a few years ago.

CT - Cashtastropher April 12, 2013 at 6:02 am

What a great post – impossible IS an opinion. Such a nice story about your parents.. very inspiring.

Krantcents April 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

Thanks, I always felt it was just an opinion and now I embraced it as a personal mantra.

The Happy Homeowner April 12, 2013 at 7:31 am

Great post. I, too, am more motivated by the word impossible than when I know it’s an easy thing to do. Love me a challenge! :)

Krantcents April 12, 2013 at 7:40 am

Thanks, there is something special when only a few can do it! At least that is how I feel.

mochimac @ save. spend. splurge. April 12, 2013 at 9:52 am

Impossible is just a word I use for more motivation to do whatever it is they say I can’t do.

Krantcents April 12, 2013 at 10:06 am

I sometimes use impossible as motivation too, but I think there are very few things tat are actually impossible.

Jacob@CashCowCouple April 12, 2013 at 10:50 am

Awesome, inspirational article! My wife and I are young but we try to really encourage the other to dream big and to have a ton of confidence.

I’ve not commented much here but I’m a long time reader and a big fan! You’re on my blogroll!
Jacob

Krantcents April 12, 2013 at 11:57 am

Thank you. I started blogging to influence a wider audience so I am glad you read my articles. I really believe that anything is possible and I am living proof. Just take those dreams and create a plan breaking them down to smaller milestones.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar April 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Another great snippet of wisdom. I agree that impossible is erroneously exchanged with don’t want to or I’m am afraid to. There are too many people who have done the “impossible” for it to be true in most cases.

Krantcents April 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Thanks, nothing is impossible!

Buck Inspire April 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Terrific quote from Ali, the ultimate motivator! Great pep talk. Perhaps the fear of failing makes it impossible? Time to take on the impossible and make it happen. Thanks KC!

Krantcents April 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I never think in terms of possible/impossible and just find ways to achieve the goal. “Just do it!”

Jim April 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Fabulous post Krant, I particularly like the part about the basketball player. Reminds me of my father in law, he was the leading scorer of his basketball team in high school, and he was short by basketball standards at 5’9″. He was just determined, still is for that matter. Great article, being confident in yourself is the paramount to your success!

Krantcents April 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Confidence usually comes from success! Success may be in school, sports or hobbies and can be transferred to other parts of your life.

KC @ genxfinance April 18, 2013 at 12:16 am

Exactly! If you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything. The only one hindering you, is yourself.

Krantcents April 18, 2013 at 6:57 am

Thanks, I think it is always up to the individual!

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