Impossibility

This is a great article from Rich Litvin. Impossible goals. Remember a place to come from, not a place to get to. You may not get that, but re-read and start to. It will change everything.

THREE AND A HALF GUARANTEED WAYS TO GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT IN 2016

1. THE POWER OF “IMPOSSIBLE GOALS”

Do YOU want to create something incredible in 2016?
Then it’s time to get really specifIc. It doesn’t need to be ‘possible’.
In fact, at the start of every year I set an Impossible Goal for myself. And I only work with clients who have Impossible Goals. An Impossible Goal is a goal you’d love to create that wouldn’t be possible by human intervention alone. Yep. It’s not a ‘stretch goal’. It’s not a challenging goal. And it’s definitely not a ‘SMART’ goal. An Impossible Goal changes your nervous system as you reflect on it. It has your mouth drop open as you contemplate it.

But here’s the thing… An Impossible Goal is NOT a place to get to.

First, if you approach any goal as a place to get to–a future-based result–an “I’ll be happy when…”–you’re doomed to be disappointed most of the time. After all, for 99.999% of your journey you won’t have achieved your goal. And chances are the successful accomplishment of that goal won’t make you as happy as you imagine, anyway. [Read Stumbling On Happiness by Daniel Gilbert for more on this].
Second, by its very definition, an Impossible Goal CANNOT be achieved, so there’s no seventeen point plan can be created that could possibly get you there.

This isn’t ‘The Secret’ either, it’s not about visualising and wishing and hoping and dreaming. An Impossible Goal—actually, any goal—is a place to come FROM, not a place to get to…

  • Who would you need to BE to accomplish that goal? Go out and do what it takes to BE that person now.
  • What would you be doing AFTER you’d successfully accomplished that goal. Begin doing that NOW.
  • Will you ever achieve that goal? Who knows—it’s ‘impossible’, after all, right?

But who you’ll become in the creation of that goal… now that will change everything for you.

WHAT’S YOUR IMPOSSIBLE GOAL?
—–
2. IGNORE THE WORD “NO”
Be more like a two year old…
When he was two, my son couldn’t even hear the word no. It literally meant nothing to him…
Kaleo: Wanna play baseball, dada?
Me: Not right now, Kaleo.
Kaleo: Wanna play baseball, dada?
Me: Let me just finish the washing up.
Kaleo: Wanna play baseball, dada?
Me: In a minute honey.
Kaleo: Wanna play baseball, dada?
Me: Give me just a moment longer.
Kaleo: Wanna play baseball, dada?
[Monique walks in the room]
Kaleo: Wanna play baseball, mama?

The British fiction writer, Agatha Christie was rejected again and again and again by publishers, for five years in a row, before her first book was published. Her book sales now exceed $2 billion and only William Shakespeare has sold more.

Vladimir Nabokov was trying to publish his radical new novel Lolita and he was shunned by all the major publishers. One of his rejection letters read, “I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years…” Yet, Lolita was later published by all those publishers who initially turned it down and it ultimately sold over 50 million copies.

In 1956, Andy Warhol received a letter from the Museum of Modern Art rejecting a piece of art he was trying to give them for free. Almost fifty years later, MoMA owns 168 of Warhol’s pieces and his Silver Car Crash (1963) sold in November 2013 for $105.4M.

Imagine how YOUR world would transform if you no longer took the word NO personally.

IMAGINE WHAT YOU MIGHT CREATE IF YOU WERE WILLING TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT—FOR FAR LONGER THAN YOU’VE EVER FELT COMFORTABLE TO DO—UNTIL NOW…

2.5. SAY “NO” MORE. MUCH MORE.
The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything. – Warren Buffett

There’s a story of Warren Buffett joking to his pilot that he wasn’t doing his job because he’d been working for him too long. He offered to help him go after more of his goals and dreams.
Buffett asked his pilot to list the 25 most important things he wanted to do in his life. And then he asked him to review each goal and choose his 5 most important ones.

Things got interesting when Buffet then asked him, “What about these other 20 things on your list that you didn’t circle?” Buffett asked. “What is your plan for completing those?”
His pilot said he’d focus mainly on his top 5 goals but work on the others when he had spare time with just as much dedication.

And that was the moment, Buffett turned serious.

He said, “You’ve got it wrong. Everything you didn’t circle just became your ‘avoid at all cost list.’

No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top five.”

CREATE YOUR OWN ‘AVOID AT ALL COST LIST’ FOR 2016.
—–
3. STOP SOLVING PROBLEMS. SEEK OPPORTUNITIES.
Problem Solvers are the kind of people who are energized when they see a problem.
High achievers especially LOVE problems because they can save the day by turning around a challenging situation. They ask great questions, they search for the root cause of the issue and they think creatively about how to create a solution.

The ‘problem’ with a Problem Solving mindset is that your very ability to scan the horizon for “danger” and your bias towards solving problems means you are energized by challenges and threats. So you tend to avoid things—taxes, relationships, income, etc.—until they reach problem-level status. And you struggle to focus on what is truly important to you.

Opportunity Seekers are that small percentage of people who don’t really care about setting goals or handling problems. Instead, they trust their deepest wisdom or their gut intuition to see opportunity where others do not.

In The Click Moment, Frans Johansson points out that we can’t really predict much in an increasingly complex world.

He writes, “Your chances of success actually drop when you analyze the market and try to predict how to succeed. Because logic led you to conclude that path would be reliably successful, others will conclude the same thing and competition will be fierce.”

Since the 10,000 hours principle promoted by Malcolm Gladwell actually holds true for remarkably few fields, your real job is to prepare yourself to take advantage of serendipitous opportunities that emerge from the randomness of life.

“Ask yourself with some frequency: considering my current schedule, is it even possible for something unscripted or unplanned to happen? And if [it does], do I have the ability to do anything about it?”

IN 2016, EXPLORE OPPORTUNITIES. TAKE SMALL BETS. RISK FAILURE.
—–
Oh. That ‘guarantee’ that you’ll get everything you want in 2016.

Not possible.

There are only TWO guarantees in life. One, we’re all going to die. And two, we don’t know when it’s going to happen.

Life is short.

And you are so much closer to everything you want than you could ever imagine.

So, be willing to upset a few people to create something remarkable.

Don’t wait. Don’t hold back. Stop hoping for permission. No one is coming to save you. THIS IS IT.

Your one wild and precious life.

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