Not long ago people used to think that it just wasn’t physically possible for a man to run a mile in under four minutes. Of course, Roger Bannister proved them wrong in 1954. Nowadays, to run a mile in under four minutes is not that great of an accomplishment.
I once wrote that there isn’t a single person on this world who, when faced with the impossible, can’t recognize it, but at the same time, there isn’t a single person on this planet who truly accepts it.
But the way we react to the impossible ultimately depends on how much we want to conquer it. We might accept the challenge or we might give up without a fight. You see, when we feel we don’t have enough time to complete a certain task, we tell ourselves it’s impossible. If something hasn’t been done before, it’s impossible. We’ve got a million rules and laws that tell us how this world works. And we label what we don’t understand as being “impossible.”
It just can’t be done.
Maybe sometimes we feel we’re not good enough, strong enough, fast enough. It’s only temporarily out of our limits, but we also don’t feel like pushing beyond our limits. We don’t want the pain and the sweat, because we like being comfortable.
Think of this world as a cardboard box. In it you have all the little elements that make it work. All that you can see, taste, touch, all the things you can be absolutely certain of. Everything we ever invented, discovered, or proved to exist is in this cardboard box.
Outside of it lies the impossible. And in order to reach it, to conquer it, all you’ve got to do is realize that the impossible is simply made up of all the things we can feel but can’t see, all the things we can imagine or dream up, all the things we wish were true about ourselves or the world around us.
We rarely want to venture outside of our little cardboard box and into an endless universe of questions and darkness.
It’s easy to discard what’s difficult, what takes time to learn, what might get you hurt or even killed, as being impossible. But it’s not. Nothing is, actually.
People have this unique ability: they can see things that don’t exist. They dream. We all do, and the truth is that it becomes truly amazing when we decide to make our dreams come true. When we decide to invent what doesn’t exist, just because we can imagine it.
I believe imagination is not only a coping mechanism, a way by which we try to escape the bitter disillusion of living in a strange world. No, imagination allows us to change the world according to what we need and what we want and what we feel is missing. Thus, we can assume nothing is truly impossible. The more stuff we put in our cardboard box, the less frightening the darkness seems. And, yes, I know that sometimes we feel as if the questions are never going to end, that the more answers we find, the more questions we find, but the real tragedy would be running out of questions.
That box of ours is never going to contain everything. But I believe it’s our job to add as many items as possible. Each and everyone of us has to venture into the dark, endless abyss of the impossible and come back with something worth sharing with the rest of the world.