Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Believing the Impossible

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My favorite coffee mug helps me to believe.

It often does more to get me going in the morning than the coffee I drink out of it.

Written on the mug is a quote from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

“There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

I dare say 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.”

To create is to be impractical. To see beyond what is present.

To believe the impossible.

Creativity is not based in reality.

It is the song that has never been heard.

The story that has never been told.

The paint that has never been spread on canvas.

Today’s reality was once considered impossible.

  • The telephone was impossible. But eventually there was one in every home.
  • The wireless phone was impossible. Not only does everyone have one, but we use them to connect to the entire world wherever we happen to be.
  • Recovering form a severe infection was impossible. In the U.S. Civil War more people died from diarrhea and infected wounds than in battle. When penicillin was discovered, the world changed.
  • The light bulb was impossible. When was the last time you turned on a light in a dark room and were amazed? You should be. The impossible happens every day right in your living room.
  • Flying was impossible. Then the Wright Brothers changed everything. Now we can fly to the other side of the world in a day. We can even fly to the moon.
  • The computer was impossible. Channeling the movement of electrons through well designed and impossibly small circuits has become a practice that we cannot live without.

All of these incredible inventions started with believing something that was impossible.

Photo by Kim Jensen (Creative Commons)

Everyday Creativity.

Creativity is not just the traditional arts. Being an artist is something that all of us can do.

We can create new technologies. We can create new methods. We can start new businesses and develop new products. We can solve world hunger.

But to accomplish these great things, to live better stories, we have to be creative.

In order to be creative we have to stop seeing the world as it is, and instead imagine a world that could be.

The more impossible the better.

There are so many things in our world that we hope for, but are afraid that they might be impossible.

  • Clean water to the billions who do not have it.
  • A clean, renewable source of energy.
  • Cheaper and easily reproduced construction methods to be used all over the world.
  • World peace.
  • Irradication of disease.

When forming your dream, your goals, strive towards something that seem to great.

Don’t hold back. Shoot for the moon.

Then ask the correct question.

The question isn’t whether or not these things are actually possible.

The real question is do you believe?

What do you hope for in this world that seems impossible? Tell us your dream in the comments.


About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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14 Replies

  1. Anonymous

    What a powerful post. I really enjoyed the Lewis quote. Belief is totally the foundation to doing and accomplishing great things. Knowing this allows us to create and think about new produces, services, or ideas.

  2. Doubt enters our minds more than we are really aware. Let’s start believing.

  3. Great post. I like the message of “the more impossible the better.”

  4. we still struggle with impossible, so we have to be encouraged to make it even more than our initial reaction.

  5. I have had this quote on my desk for the past ten years.  Your scaring me in our similar ponderings and musings….  Thanks, 

  6. Fun. I just discovered one day on a coffee mug at a bookstore. Apparently you are years ahead of me.

  7. Great post, very inspirational! Seriously, if everyone thought “it’s impossible, I won’t even try”, a lot of good things would never see the light. Thanks for the ideas!

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  8. It begins with possibility. Good to hear from you.

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