Impossibly Really Hard (16 of 90)

I’ve been thinking about impossible lately.

There is no one particular reason for this. No looming task staring me down, causing me great angst about my life. No reason for me to dread.

It’s more conceptual. More philosophical.

Because I’ve come to realize a telling factoid about myself: I don’t believe anything is impossible. I have become completely un-swayed by the idea of “no”, “not”, “can’t” and other such negatives. Which isn’t to say that I don’t use them or that those particular words and concepts have no meaning. (See, I used one of those words in perfectly acceptable way in that last sentence.) Simply that I think I’ve lost the ability to see events as insurmountable. As too big. As too much. As un-doable.

I’ve been ruminating on this idea as I continue my Year of Dawkins challenge. He, at one point, discussed the mathematical difference between impossible and really hard, explaining why it’s not okay to characterize something that is “highly improbably” as impossible. Although it may be (and I think I’m paraphrasing this) so highly improbably as to render it functionally impossible. Which is still different than impossible.

Just impossibly highly improbable.

I love that idea. Because when you begin to remove the idea of “impossible” from your vocabulary, you begin to see possibilities. No matter how improbable those possibilities may seem, you still view life as possible.

Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by my life, by the projects in front of me, by the mistakes behind me, by the world around me. Whenever that happens, I just remember that the next step in front of me isn’t impossible. It’s not even impossibly really hard.

It’s just a step. A simple, tiny step. One that will take me to a place where I will have the choice to take another step. Or not.

It’s my choice.

The component parts of life are not impossible to climb. They may not be easy. They may not (and likely won’t be) the components you want. But they are not impossibly really hard. They are not so overwhelming as to be functionally impossible.

They are probable.