“Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead” Roger Bannister – Athlete
I love this quote from Roger Bannister as it highlights perfectly that the impossible is only impossible until it isn’t and that “experts” can only advise based on their current knowledge.
As knowledge grows exponentially every second of every day, who is to say what can and can’t be done. Even this morning we have landed a probe on Mars – who knows what it will find.
How many times have you given up too soon because other people think what you want to do can’t be done or at least is too difficult to try?
Leaders know that exploration is an ongoing process and that discovery is something to embrace as a way of being. Leaders are like children in this respect. 4 and 5 year olds act as though just about anything is possible because they aren’t limited by the impossible.
A child’s sense of exploration and discovery is something that they find intriguing and exciting. As the years pass and the child becomes an adult, that sense of investigation, risk taking and experimentation often loses its appeal. Unfortunately this is largely due to the constraints of our mass education system where conformity is rewarded as the norm and creative thinking and self-discovery is seen as disruptive.
It is often through a fear failure, disappointment, embarrassment or confidence that we avoid attempting what we believe to be impossible.
Yet it is only through constantly wanting to and seeking to break through what we believe is impossible that evolution, progress and growth take place. Without a mindset of “what if?” or “how might it be?” no progress is made.
Showing leadership is about believing that the impossible must be and can be challenged if great feats are to be achieved.
What impossible thing will you try today?