You’re probably familiar with the Mission: Impossible movies with Tom Cruise. They are, of course, based on the TV show with the same name from the late 60s, early 70s. I never watched them religiously, but I knew the theme song and the basic premise of the show. The title always intrigued me because it never seemed like the missions were really impossible. Sure, maybe to the average person. But not to these highly trained IMF agents.
In one of my incoherent stream of consciousness thoughts I started to wonder why people become so focused on achieving things that are seen as ‘impossible’, but when something is difficult it can stop them in their tracks. I’ve seen a lot of tweets and Facebook posts about the excesses of Christmas and how is it going to be paid for. And they usually end up with a decision not to do anything because it’s too difficult to figure out. I’ve watched conversations where someone realized they’d actually have to make hard choices and then they couldn’t deal with the reality so they just decide to deal with it later.
What is it about the word difficult that stops people? Why is it that the word impossible actually energizes people? It’s as if the bigger challenge is worth the effort but the smaller one isn’t.
I know there are truly some things that are impossible, and I don’t waste my time with them. Things like me going to the moon. That gets the label impossible and I’m moving on. Because the reality is that I’m not going to focus my time, energy or resources on something that just isn’t going to happen.
But difficult? I can do difficult. Really, very few things are impossible. Some things may take more effort or time or resources. However, if you are determined enough not much is ever impossible. At least that’s what I think.
I try to be one of those perpetual optimists, but I’m not. I can suck the air out of a great idea faster than a Porche can go from zero to 60. I work hard at not doing that. And for the most party I succeed. Again, difficult, not impossible.
However, I have to tell you, if you are ever faced with something that seems truly and utterly impossible I can assure you that no matter how high that hurdle is, if you want to jump it you’ll be able to. Not because you have some crazy superhuman ability. Rather, you’ll be able to do it because it is so important to you that you’ll find a way to cobble all the resources you’ll need to soar.
So whether it’s difficult or impossible, it’s always worth doing if you really want it. And it’s worth supporting others too. You never know what may come of it (like Facebook or Twitter or smartphones or cures for diseases).
How do you deal with Mission: Difficult?