Turning impossibilities into realities
How did it happen that a simple statement has ingrained itself into the fiber of human existence over the centuries—and still does?
Let’s be honest. How often don’t we utter these words? I can’t do it. It acts like a toxin: paralyzes our minds and our thoughts—what we think and envision being possible. And soon, our words become prophetic.
It’s preposterous, people insist—how dare you keep dreaming of what might be? Stop living in a fantasy world. Deal with reality. Grow up, get a real job and pull yourself by your bootstraps. How will those visions even put food on the table?
And sadly, we often listen to those naysayers—those cynical voices—and we kill our dreams. We can miss out on so much, even on a greater purpose in our lives.
Some things are impossible. Try and put an egg back after the hen had laid it. If the sun had set, no kicking or screaming or cajoling will bring it back till sunrise on the opposite horizon, unless you jump in a plane and follow it. It’s true, certain vocations and abilities may remain beyond our grasp or ability, even with the most stringent discipline and practice.
If you had told me eight months ago I would be writing a post for my own blogging website, I would have strongly disagreed and recommended you go see a psychologist. Because blogging wasn’t on my agenda—it wasn’t even on the radar. Never. And yet, this is exactly what I’m doing right now.
How do we go from “impossible,” from “I can’t,” to “for sure?” How do we change our predispositions, our view of our own abilities?
It is often not a case of changing a stubborn habit—or boosting our willpower.
Sometimes, we only need a nudge.
Some of us, need permission to dream again—an affirmation that, yes, we can do it. We need an affirmation that someone believes in us.
Then, when we dare to dream again, we wonder: do I have what it takes?
Where do I even start?
1. Identify your goal.
- Be specific: what is your dream? What is your passion? To write a 80,000 word novel? Perhaps you always wanted to learn a second or a third language? Or your secret passion has been to learn the Tango?
- Let’s use the example of learning another language. And, we’ve decided on Spanish.
- You love visiting Mexico and you have a handsome co-worker from Central America, who you secretly admire.
- Research is crucial—do your homework.
- There are different ways of learning a language. It is easier to learn a third, if you’re already fluent in two. But don’t lose heart!
- Online courses—audiotapes are excellent. It makes more sense to learn it like babies do: listen and repeat—learn to speak it first, then read, then write. Don’t continue with the next lesson until you have mastered the previous one. Nail the pronunciation. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. But read the small print of payments with online courses—you can get burnt!
- Language classes at your local library, community centre or certain bookstores
- Follow the “No English Rule,” of Vat Jaisval and Scott Young. Tough, but effective and fascinating. (If you can immerse yourself in the country for three months it’s more practical, the duo claims.)
2. Formalize and commit
- Write it down (Yes, on good old paper.)
- Share it with your trusted inner circle—your network. Expect more than a couple of eye-rolls upon your announcement of learning Spanish.
- The accountability aspect is vital in achieving success (otherwise your dream remains your own little secret and no one is the wiser)
Even if it isn’t possible to go live in another country for three months, you can still follow the “no English rule.”
- Set a timeline—otherwise it will remain a dream.
3. Barriers and obstacles
- What are (real) obstacles?
- It will determine the route you’re going to follow. Consider combining a vacation with a language course. It is cheaper to pay in Pesos, than dollars. Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Work Week) is a living example of mastering new skills. He turned the 9-5 workday-concept on its head.
- Time. As you prioritize, you make time. Identify time wasters
- Facilities/Resources—network and do your homework
- Expertise—do your research. It pays off. Master your subject and become the expert.
- Fear. It becomes more and more fun and enjoyable as you master the proper pronunciation.
- Faith in own ability. This grows. Feedback from your network is crucial.
- If you stick to the plan, if gets better. Success fosters success.
4. Break it down—into bite sizes
- Detailed blueprint. If you are doing the audiotapes, don’t continue with the next lesson until you’ve mastered the present one. It will help if you stick to: “NO English!”
- More research—fill in the gaps
- Utilize your network—connect will Spanish speaking people. A whole new culture awaits you!
- Smaller manageable mini-goals. If you have set a 3-month goal, you should see and hear the difference on a weekly basis.
5. Consistency: Do one thing everyday
- To take you closer toward your goal. Like writing, do it every day. (Joe Bunting—The Write Practice) Learning a new language is no different: don’t skip. Practice every day.
- Don’t try and do it solo. It’s true of online business, of writing, of learning a language. Don’t go it alone! You need a tribe, an effective
- Reap and enjoy the success!
- Don’t stop—keep going
The bigger your dream or your vision, and the more worthwhile, the more difficult it may be. And the harder you will have to work. But that’s part of the adventure.
It is possible to learn a new language in three months, or learn to Tango or learn to blog. My timeline with mastering the basics of blogging was closer to 6 months, but, I’m fine with that. The important thing was not to give in to the naysayers.
“So you claim I can learn a new skill even when I’m eighty?”
“Absolutely! Whether you’re 32 or 82, the same principles apply. You may have to work harder though.”
So, go ahead:
- Identify your goal/your dream.
- Formulate it and write it down.
- Identify and counter your barriers to success
- Break it down into bite sizes
- Take at least one step, every day, to take you closer toward your goal.
Your dream can become a reality. You can be doing it right now! (Well, perhaps in three months time!)
Which steps do you follow to reach a seemingly insurmountable goal? Let me know in the comment section.
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