The two most exciting words in the English language? How about…
Of course there are a few variations on these words, such as “That’s never going to work” and of course “The technology we have doesn’t allow for this” – But no matter how you say it seems to have the same effect on most people.
I think that the most common reaction that people have to these words is to give up and move on to something else. After all, you can’t conquer the impossible so isn’t your time better spent on things you can solve?
There’s a different reaction to this question, however, that is far more interesting. This response is when people don’t believe that something is impossible to solve (or better yet, don’t care) and instead show a burning desire to solve the impossible. This reaction is rarer than the previously mentioned one, but the people who default to it are much more likely to do something absolutely amazing in their lives.
I’m not implying that everything needs to be solved. For example, if your friend can’t make it out for drinks this weekend because it would be “impossible” to cancel date night, that could be one example of something that’s better left alone. But how about the big ideas? Do you think the first engineers at NASA didn’t hear from someone that it was impossible to safely send a man into space and return him to earth safely? Do you think Steve Jobs was never been told that creating certain (and now successful) Apple products would be impossible due to technological limitations? What would have happened if these people listened and stopped trying? For those that choose to gravitate towards the impossible with the intent of making things possible, several awesome opportunities present themselves.
- You could be the first to solve a problem. I don’t think most people who act on ideas and build something awesome before anyone else were necessarily first to have the idea. Instead, they were the first to challenge the impossible.
- Succeed or fail, you’re bound to innovate. Trying to solve the impossible is often blocked by technological limitations. Working towards your goal of solving the impossible probably means you’re going to have to innovate and build cool (and re-usable) stuff along the way.
- Success. If you think of some of the most successful people in technology today, did they get there by giving up at “that’s impossible”? There are certainly some exceptions, but overall the trend is that the people who make it big and find the highest levels of success in this world are the people who have had the courage to solve something that’s never been solved before.
What are your thoughts on this? What’s your reaction to the words “it’s impossible”?
Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!