What is possible for some is impossible for others. For example, it is impossible for me to give birth to a child because I am a man. But it is possible for women. For some people, it’s impossible for them to roll their tongue. I’m doing it as I write this. The Bible says with prayer and belief you can move mountains (Mark 11:23-24). I’m not sure if the Bible means this literally or not, but moving Mt. Everest would take untold generations of tremendous effort. Then there is the Great Wall of China, which one could say was a feat something like moving a mountain.
Some things are labeled impossible when the effort is beyond reasonable comprehension or technology is not yet advanced quite enough. However, worldly impossibilities become less every day - but I’m not really speaking about them. I’m thinking about those things we choose to see as impossible. We often see them as impossible because of human weaknesses such as ignorance, fear, or satisfaction.
Impossible is another word for ignorance
“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” William Shakespeare
“I could never be a doctor,” said the very shy girl. “I could never get into Yale”, thought the boy in the ghetto. “I will never get a promotion”, moaned the young man of indifferent parents. “I could never be a pilot”, said the boy without a father. “I could never take care of a child”, was the belief of a young girl with little confidence. Words like these are spoken every day by those who are ignorant of the possibilities and their potential. Their ignorance comes from environments that are unsupportive and/or personalities that need some guidance. And sadly, very few ever break through the lack of belief to succeed. They need mentors. They need encouragement. And they need a chance.
Impossible is another word for fear
“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy!” Dale Carnegie
Many things are impossible when fear gets in the way. Fear of injury, fear of failure, fear of criticism, and fear caused by phobias, all are real barriers to expanding one’s world, and in some instances, living a normal life. It is literally impossible for some people to fly in an airplane, hold a snake, or even leave their home. But most impossibilities for people are not as obvious because they hold their secret fears close, not wanting to admit them, but suffering because of them. Similar to those who are held back by ignorance, people with fears -- particularly children, need mentors, encouragement, and a chance to face their fears with the help of a guiding hand.
Impossible is another word for satisfied
“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?” Bob Marley
The examples above are unfortunate because circumstances impact their potential and their belief in themselves. There are, however, those who may have a level of self-confidence and lack fear, but still face false impossibilities. Some things are truly impossible for people who are satisfied with their status quo or just plain lazy. They may have the talent to be a doctor, go to Yale, get multiple promotions, or be a pilot or a parent, and fear may not be a real factor; but they don’t have the desire to do these or other challenging things. True growth is absolutely impossible without desire and interest.
There is nothing inherently wrong with being satisfied with yourself, but it does play havoc with motivation and advancement.
- If you’re satisfied with your job, you’re not likely to look for a better situation.
- If you’re satisfied with your studying, you may not get a top score on a test.
- If you’re satisfied with mediocrity, you’ll get mediocrity. Mediocrity is very possible!
Having a child who lacks desire, vision or motivation may be tougher to correct than a child who lacks confidence. Creating desire in a child is more difficult than instilling self-confidence or providing encouragement because encouraging anyone to do something in which they are not interested is usually a waste of your time.
Conquering your child’s self-satisfaction before they have earned the right
Being satisfied with ones-self has good and not so good consequences. The good is being at peace. The not-so-good is a life with few rewards. Young people, especially your children, first need to work and find new adventures and rewards; and the satisfaction that comes later will be truly peaceful and good. So, how to light a fire?
Look for an interest or passion that has potential.
- What motivates my child?
- What questions can I ask that will help him discover and explore his interests?
- Show interests in their interests, even if they are not interesting to you.
- Don’t discourage them for anything that is harmless, even if you think it is a waste of time.
- Don’t show frustration or your voice may not be heard in the future.
- Ask questions without nagging.
Try different experiences to inspire them
- Trips to libraries, museums, national parks, etc. may bring groans, but also a possible exposure to a new interest.
- Meeting new people with passions may help. Seeing excitement in someone else could be something they would like for themselves.
- Push reading, big time! But something like “Harry Potter” will work better than “Of Human Bondage” because an early bad reading experience (disinterest and boredom) may cheat them from a lifetime of enjoyment.
Anytime you hear the word impossible, immediately start asking yourself why. If the impossible task is important to you, don’t think “Impossible!” -- Think “Impossible?” Take it from me, I’ve already logged in my personal, unwritten diary about five impossible dreams that came to pass. One thing I know for sure – almost anything is impossible until you believe you can do it. Just open your eyes to the possibilities, lose the fear, and get help even if it is self-help through reading. Never be satisfied and poof – you’ve done the impossible! I guess Mark was right about our moving our personal mountains!