What is your relationship to the seemingly impossible? What amazing feat might you accomplish if you were able to hold your intention with unwavering commitment?
The World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City had an interesting history with two incredible feats of the impossible. One took place at its birth and the other at its death.
Both of these feats were incomprehensible – the first in the positive sense and the second in a tragically negative sense. There was a time when even the feat of building the towers themselves, buildings of that height, was impossible.
The first impossible feat that birthed the WTC was the high-wire act across the two towers by the young Frenchmen, Philippe Petit (see the film Man on Wire if you haven’t yet.)
The second and final impossible feat involving the twin towers was of course, the terrorist attacks where two jet planes flew directly into and brought down the towers on September 11, 2001.
Both of these feats required lengthy and complex planning, with little margin for error. All things had to be impeccably aligned to pull it off. To reflect on the theory of either one of these feats in detail, would surely have any one declaring it impossible.
The interesting aspect is that both involved significant breaches in security. Philippe Petit should have never gotten past security guards to haul all of his equipment and crew to the top of the towers, not to mention rigging and securing the wire between the two towers and then performing his high-wire act for 45 minutes.
Middle-Eastern men with no luggage, using cash to purchase one-way tickets on flights from the east coast, should not have easily gotten past the security check. (please don’t call me racist – I am merely referring to a combination of factors that would likely raise the suspicion of security personnel)
For good, for bad, for entertainment, for evil. For whatever….how were these feats accomplished?
Somehow everything….and I mean everything went right. Everything was perfect. The weather conditions for each feat had to be perfect – and it was. No part of the plan could go wrong – and it didn’t. There were certainly a few minor glitches – but no obstacle big enough to stand in the way.
So how are astounding feats like these accomplished?
Were the stars aligned? Obviously yes…for whatever that’s worth.
Was it brilliant planning and execution? Yes, again…but is there more?
I believe the most important aspect of how these seemingly impossible feats were accomplished was a profound unwavering, intention and desire. An absolute dedication and commitment unlike the kind most of us ever experience.
There was not one micro-ounce of ambivalence; not one moment of doubt; not one nano-second of hesitation. In each of these feats the impossible was made possible by the single-minded intention and full-out commitment of those who carried them out.
Let’s leave the discussion of good and evil intention for another time and place.
The point I am making is that it is the power of intention and an iron-clad commitment that creates amazing results.
You won’t likely be trying to accomplish such extreme feats, but each of our challenges can feel impossible at times. For the start-up business owner, the challenge of building and sustaining a successful business can feel impossible. For the independent consultant, each project can have impossible aspects that we have to overcome. And for those who work for someone else, there are times when your boss expects the impossible. Right?
How high do you set your sights for what you can accomplish? What’s your level of commitment? Do you struggle with ambivalence? Do you second-guess yourself and your direction or decisions?
Think about the expectations you have for yourself. Get honest about your level of commitment. Don’t kid yourself if you feel ambivalent. Understand that accomplishing impossible feats requires precision and attention to detail. But know that perfectionism to the degree of obsession and hesitation will hinder rather than help your success.
Paying attention and regularly evaluating these aspects of your approach can be the most valuable business skill.
Work toward overcoming your personal obstacles and train your mind to support you rather than work against you.
The combination of your belief in your ability to accomplish and your desire to make it happen is the recipe for success.
What impossible feat will you focus on this year?
Make it a positive, life-sustaining goal. Commit. Have fun. Break a few rules…and make it happen.