Impossible: No Such Thing

What incredible feat are you seeking in your professional life right now that seems daunting or even impossible to accomplish? What are you living proof of that everyone else thought to be unattainable? For women’s rights activists, it was the vote. For Steve Jobs, it was Apple Inc. No matter how inaccessible a goal may seem, perseverance and determination can make it happen. I, too, have felt discouraged at times, overloaded with decisions to make that seemed hopeless to resolve.

Maintaining hope when you’ve run out of ideas or support will only shape you into a stronger person, both professionally and in general. I encourage each of my clients to look into their lives and find something that could very well lead to a major innovation. After all, space travel and automobiles were once thought preposterous. And at one time, many wondered who in their right mind would ever need a computer at home?

Check your thinking—are you making assumptions about anything that is putting a lid on you and blocking solutions?  Is there something you’re assuming is impossible or unattainable that might be doable after all?  For me, it was the recent launch of my book, Your Dream Team, after years of struggling and eventually giving up hope that I’d ever complete it. For you, it could be landing a new client or starting a business. No matter how big or small, nothing is impossible!

Need some inspiration? Take a look at these quotes and consider how things turned out. Any of us can fall into this kind of thinking, but it takes vision and commitment to push the boundaries.

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
- Charles H. Duell, Director of US Patent Office, 1899

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
- Harry M. Warner, Warner Bros Pictures, 1927

“There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.”
- Robert Miliham, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

“Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.”
- Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895

“The horse is here today, but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.”
- President of Michigan Savings Bank advising against investing in the Ford Motor Company

“Video won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”
- Daryl F. Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, commenting on television, 1946

“Space travel is utter bilge.”
- Sir Richard van der Riet Wooley, The Astronomer Royal, 1956

“Rail travel at high speeds is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
- Dionysius Lardner, English scientist (1793-1859)

“While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.”
- Lee DeForest, American inventor (1873-1961)

“Guitar music is on the way out.”
- Decca Records turning down the Beatles, 1962

“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.”
- Spencer Silver, originator of Post-It Notepads

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”
- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology, 1872

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
- Western Union internal memo, 1876

“Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.”
- Grover Cleveland, 1905

“Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”
- 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.”
- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre

“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon”.
- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
- Bill Gates, 1981

“Such startling announcements as these should be deprecated as being unworthy of science and mischievous to its true progress.”
- Sir William Siemens, electrical engineer, upon hearing Edison’s announcement of a successful light bulb

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
- Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

“I believe all the music that can be written has already been written. We’re just repeating the past.”
- Tschaikovsky in a letter to his brother

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