attitude & the impossible

 

“They say Rome wasn’t built in a day but I wasn’t on that particular job.”

Brian Cloughimpossible mad hatter

 

==

 

 

So.

 

 

I am not one of those people that believes nothing is impossible.

Because some things are simply impossible. No ifs and or buts.

 

 

In addition … some things may actually be possible … but they take impossible amount of effort that doesn’t bear a viable return on that effort.

 

However.

All that said.

 

More things are possible than most people believe. And sometimes being unreasonable in your expectations … and in intent … can lead to some amazingly reasonable outcomes.

 

Now.

 

 

The outcomes may not be the exact things you were aiming for … but they are pretty darn good … amazing in fact. And with this initial unreasonableness you began with … you end up attaining some aspect of what some people may have suggested was impossible.

 

Here is where I struggle with some results based performance assessments.

 

 

If your objective was 100 yards further than what anyone conceived as possible … and you attained somewhere maybe 50 yards short of your objective <but 50 yards farther than what was deemed possible> … how are you judged?

 

 

–          On your unreasonableness? <someone suggests you should set a more reasonable goal next time>

 

 

–          On the fact you didn’t achieve the objective? <someone suggests you were not successful because you didn’t get to where you aimed for … and told people what you would achieve … maybe they even suggest you promised it and therefore did not fulfill what was promised>

 

 

–          On the belief you only were 50% successful? <someone suggests you only got half way toward your ultimate objective>

 

 

Or.

 

Does someone point out you did the impossible?

 

 

That maybe by being a little unreasonable in your expectations you were able to do something that no one else was willing to attempt and actually go do.

 

Any and all are a possible outcome.

 

A Life truth?

Being an unreasonable person is difficult.

 

Now.

I am not suggesting this is about blindly setting impossible goal after impossible goal assuming at some point the odds are with you that you will attain one of them. Those people are, frankly, dangerous to have around. They waste time & energy and expend volumes of false optimism that ultimately burns people out … and breeds pessimism even on the possible <because they begin to make it difficult to discern between the possible and impossible>.

 

 

This is about the selectively unreasonable person.

 

 

This is about the person who has the attitude of pragmatic cynicism whenever that person hears “that is impossible.” Their unreasonable radar perks up and they focus a little more. You can almost hear their mind flipping through all the ways that the impossible could become possible. It is that attitude of “I wasn’t on that Rome built in a day” job. They seek options to beat what others say cannot be done.

 

Now.

These people don’t always speak up.

 

 

Why? Because they are good at assessing the impossible. They are actually reasonably good at assessing the unreasonable. They don’t always get it right <and frankly I do not want them to> but they get it right often enough that you think about reassessing what is construed as impossible.

 

 

Well.

 

I worry in today’s world of milestones and objectives <and worse … ‘attainable objectives’> achieved attitude … that we lose sight of reaching for the impossible.

We are becoming quite comfortable, in business and in life, of playing it safe.

 

Setting reasonable and “attainable” goals.

 

 

I admit … I am getting quite tired of hearing “let’s be realistic” in business meetings.

 

Real success … and I mean big success … typically comes from “I may be unrealistic … but” type discussions.

 

Please.

 

 

Once again … let me state that I am not suggesting careless unrealistic behavior.  I am simply suggesting that the balance in today’s business world <which leaks into the everyday Life world> is out of whack.

 

There are a variety of reasons why culturally we are becoming a people of “safe, realistic behavior” but rather than type out a diatribe on that I will simply suggest we should embrace the great unreasonable people in our lives. They will shake us up a little. They will shake the Life etch-a-sketch a lot. But they will be the ones who spur us out of the economic and societal doldrums we seem to be facing these days.

trying is first step to failure

“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” – George Bernard Shaw

 

Unreasonable people, when they are good, make life and business interesting.

 

Interesting is good, isn’t it? <yes>

 

I agree with George.

 

 

All progress depends on unreasonable people.

 

Just my opinion … but we should encourage more unreasonable thinking these days.

 

 

To paraphrase Alice in Wonderland … we could do worse than think 6 impossible things before breakfast at least once a week. Given the right attitude sometimes even Rome can be built in a day.

 

But you have to try … even if it is sometimes the first step toward some version of failure.

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Written by Bruce