As a magician, every trick I perform has to be impossible. Without impossibility, there can be no magic. Magicians get used to working within these demanding boundaries and constantly make the “impossible” possible.
Without the ability to challenge the impossible, magic would not advance and tricks would become transparent. But they don’t. Women continue to be sawn in half, playing cards found and minds read, leaving audiences baffled. Even in today’s tech savvy world, magic still has the ability to amaze and fool audiences. The impossible is still being achieved.
So, if magicians can achieve this, why can’t you?
We’ve all had the mindset before where we’ve thought a particular task was impossible, so we stop and admit failure. After all, if it’s impossible, why try?
What made Edison try for the 2,000th time? What motivated Colonel Sanders to try 58 restaurants? I have no idea, but clearly they were not trying to achieve something that they thought was “impossible”.
“Impossible only means that you haven’t found the solution yet.” – Anonymous
If you find yourself with an “impossible” goal that is presently out of your reach, here’s three tips to help you break through the barrier.
1. Downgrade the “impossible”: the first step is getting the idea of the goal being “impossible” completely out of your mind. Believing that something cannot be done will prevent you from achieving it. So forget about “impossible”. Sub 4 minute miles, space travel and an entire music collection that could fit into your pocket were all considered “impossible” at one point.
The year after Roger Bannister broke the “impossible” 4 minute mile barrier, 5 other people had achieved the same feat, all beating his time. The moment that people KNEW it to be possible, and could visualise it happening, the floodgates opened.
There were no more excuses.
“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela
2. Exercise a sense of play: whatever the challenge, create a weird wonderful or surreal action that WILL achieve your goal. I don’t care how silly it is, or if you have to invent a bizarre contraption to achieve it in your mind, just go nuts. If I wanted to create a card trick where a signed card travelled to a postbox on the other side of the street, I could imagine developing super ninja skills so that I could secretly throw the card with immense skill and precision that it would land in the letterbox slot from 100 yards away. I could also train a parrot, dressed in camoflauge clothing to deliver the letter. I could create a machine that alters gravitational pull….you get the idea. None of these solutions are impossible (“practical”, however, is another discussion!), but all serve to achieve the impossible.
So allow yourself to go nuts.
Be silly, bold and crazy – just achieve it in your mind by whatever reason necessary.
Congratulations, you’ve just (crazily – and in the most impractical way possible – probably) achieved the impossible – well done.
“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” – Miguel de Cervantes
3. Keep Going: the more you focus your mind on the task at the hand, the more likely you are to achieve it. Seeing yourself achieve it in your mind (even if it is by a crazy and impractical method), will only strengthen the idea that it can be achieved (after all crazy and impractical IS still a solution). So keep going nuts. explore more ways and find more solutions.
“The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away.” – Linus Pauling
Of course, at some point, some filtration and testing of our ideas will be required, especially if there are time constraints, but don’t be in a rush to get to this analytical phase.
Enjoy the fun that comes with creation. Go nuts until you think you’ve done it enough and then do it some more!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to put them below!
All the best,