“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” Shel Silverstein
What have you been told you can’t do?
Even if you can’t remember who told you, or when, somewhere in your life you let go of dreams you thought were impossible. Things you shouldn’t, ideas you musn’t. What were they?
I’m fascinated with people’s stories. It amazes me to hear how people remember in painstaking detail the EXACT moment when they were convinced that their dream was silly. The moment when they see themselves through another’s eyes and they reflect on their dreams – which just a second before seemed wonderful and achievable – and now seem childish. In that moment, they grow up. They lose their childlike innocence and sense of wonder. They’ve left the world where anything is possible, and make their slow and steady descent into the “real world.” They have eaten the forbidden fruit.
The stories are, of course, heart breaking. We can feel the loss, the soul-crushing crash down to earth. The grown ups around us feel it’s inevitable – necessary even. The fear is good, because it keeps us safe. The dose of reality is useful because it keeps us grounded. The lower expectations are important because they protect us from disappointment.
Given all this, it begs the question: Is being an adult over-rated?
Not really, if you ask me. Sure, it can be fun to be a kid, but if you do adulthood right, maybe it can be like being a kid with permission to do almost anything you want.
Not everything you want, but anything.
Think about it for a minute. If there was something you wanted and you made it a priority, do you think you’d be able to accomplish it? Are there limitations to possibility?
Creating more Possibility
Today, take a minute to think back on your childhood dreams. Remember what they were. But more importantly even, try to recapture the innocence of believing that anything is possible and pair it with the real wisdom you’ve gained from adulthood. Understand what your dreams and passions are now, if you remove your limitations.
The first step is to unleash your creativity.
What do you really, really, really, (really) want?
What could be possible?
What do you wish were possible?
What can you do?
Think outside the box and start to paint a picture of what your life could look like in a world where “anything can be.” Write it out on a piece of paper. Just let it rip for a moment – what would your life look like if there were not the limitations about what you ‘can’t’ have or do?
Now, ask yourself:
What’s a priority to me? What am I willing to work for? Sacrifice for? If you wrote down: “Have a mansion on the beach in Malibu” I believe it’s possible, IF it’s what you really want to work toward. If not, go back and think some more about what you really do want.
“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Muhammad Ali