The magic of impossible things with 25 quotes to inspire impossible dreams

I’m bringing this oldie but goodie back from the archives! I have a lot on my plate this week and the “magic of some impossible things” is exactly what I need. How about you?

'Another impossible situation' photo (c) 2009, Nina Matthews - license:

There is no use trying,” said Alice. “One can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ~Lewis Carroll

I started Creativity Week off by putting my four year old daughter in charge. This was pure genius on my part. As a result I have been carefully watching  my girl as she goes about her day. From the moment she wakes up her mind is concocting elaborate scenarios in which she flies, does magic, builds castles, morphs into a cat, birdie or Sasquatch. Nothing is beyond her reach. When I ask her if she really can do these fanciful things she usually responds with “I can do anything.”  (Corollary to “I know everything!” which I explored over on The Everyday Mommy blog) , immediately eliminating any errant wisps of impossibility.

I asked her what impossible means. “Impossible means people don’t think they can do it. But they really can if they keep trying.” She followed up that inquiry with, “Do you know what exasperating  is?”  I replied, “What is exasperating?” to which she said “Let me show you.” She then spent some time struggling to poke a pipe cleaner through some particularly thick paper and  declared “Doing this!”  Then she followed up by asking me to help her.

She did not continue the conversation, instead she said, “I am making something new.” and went about gathering materials for some new invention. I like to think that by asking for help she was proving that her “exasperating thing” was possible. Immediately I began to wonder how many so called impossible things are really just exasperating, waiting for the right person to unlock the magic.

“To believe a thing impossible is to make it so.” ~French Proverb

“Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.” ~G. M. Trevelyan

In the case of the four minute mile, that person was Roger Bannister. Before he came along in 1954 to reach that milestone, it was wildly believed the human body’s physiology wasn’t capable of such a feat. Claims abounded that a person’s heart would explode if pushed that hard. After he beat that previously believed impossible record dozens of people soon followed suit. The current record holder, Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, did it in 3:43.13. His record has been standing since 1999. Does this mean the new record is impossible or just exasperatingly difficult ?

I think I’ll side with my daughter on this one.She has some good company!

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” ~Alexander the Great

  • “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it” ~Chinese Proverb
  •  “All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.”  ~Albert Camus
  • “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”  ~Bertrand Russell
  • “Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.” ~Robert A. Heinlein
  • “The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.” ~Robert Schuller
  • “No one gets very far unless he accomplishes the impossible at least once a day.” ~Elbert Hubbard
  • “The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.” ~Douglas Adams
  • “In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” ~Miguel de Cervantes
  • “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” ~Walt Disney
  • “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”  ~St. Francis of Assisi
  • “Impossibility: a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools.” ~Napoleon Boneparte
  • “When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.” ~Arthur C. Clarke
  • “I have learned to use the word “impossible” with the greatest caution.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”  ~Christopher Reeve
  • “What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” ~Theodore Roethke
  • Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” ~Marcus Aurelius
  • “It always seems impossible until its done.”  ~Nelson Mandela

What impossible dreams are you working on?

6 thoughts on “The magic of impossible things with 25 quotes to inspire impossible dreams

  1. I love this! Isn’t it amazing how children just are able to follow their own sparks and make things happen? My daughter is the same way- she leaps out of bed every morning and begins the day doing something she WANTS to do. She dreams NEW things every moment, and if something interesting crosses her mind, she doesn’t debate whether it might too difficult or time-consuming, she tries it until it works or doesn’t work or it’s taking too much of her time, and then she moves on with no regrets. I wish I had the courage to live so freely…

  2. ““Do you know what exasperating is?” I replied, “What is exasperating?” to which she said “Let me show you.” She then spent some time struggling to poke a pipe cleaner through some particularly thick paper and declared “Doing this!”

    So young yet already so switched on! Chel is right that we can learn so much from the way children’s brains work – when they see no boundaries or limitations in what they try to do.

  3. Hi Kathy. I can just picture your daughter and her imaginings. I’m glad that you are encouraging that creativity. Seems like so many kids just watch TV and play video games. A young creative mind is a terrible thing to waste!

    I share my dream with everyone, which is to be a millionaire in 5 years. People mostly laugh or roll their eyes, but yesterday I was visiting a friend who is in the hospital, and when I told her, she said in all sincerity, “Oh, good!”

    Why do I have this dream? First, I want to get a tornado shelter and provide a secure requirement for my husband and me. Second, I want to be able to give a lot of money to my church and other favorite causes. Third, I want to ensure that my 4 grandchildren can go to college and go on missions if they want to.

    Another part of my dream is in helping other people have the same kind of financial security that I intend to achieve for myself. That’s my dream, and I’m sticking to it! Thanks for asking. Also, thanks for all the quotes. I love having a stockpile of them.

    All the best,

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