How many times have you been told “That’s Impossible!” in your life?

Whether it was by someone in authority, a peer or even by yourself?

The title of this post is from a quote by Nelson Mandela. If you have seen the movie Invictus or read about what he overcame to unite his country you know that he faced down The Impossible… and won.

It always seems impossible until it’s done.
~ Nelson Mandela

It Can’t Be Done

Many times in your life you will hear variations on this statement. Oftentimes just when you are hearing “it can’t be done” we find ourselves stepping aside and getting out of the way while someone is doing it. That’s the nature of impossible. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Formerly Impossible Things:

  • The 4 Minute Mile – 1954 by Englishman Roger Bannister
  • Human Heart Transplant – 1967 by Dr. Christian Barnard
  • Putting a man on the moon – 1969 by Neil Armstrong

This week we honored the 51st anniversary of a fallen U.S. President from November 22, 1963. I don’t know what he would have achieved had he lived to serve out his presidency, but I suspect there would have been a few more “impossible” things accomplished.

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
~ John F. Kennedy

Why Seek Out The Impossible?

Seeking out the impossible is human nature. Many people have told themselves or been told something was impossible and it spurred them on to work harder to achieve it. Seeking the impossible is a great way to stand out in your career. No matter what that career might be —  scientist, runner, climber or what they really are… an explorer.

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
~ Andre Gide

At work, seek out the impossible. Ask about the projects no one wants to do. Then do them, look for the hard problems. They will challenge you, test you and define you. These are the things that will help you Stand Out in Your Career.

And, the next time you hear someone say … “That’s Impossible!” start looking around for someone doing it. Perhaps that someone will be you.