What’s Really Impossible?

When I was a kid growing up I was a big fan of the television show Star Trek. Okay, so maybe my fascination with the show has lasted a little but beyond my kid years. I still like the show and the movies it spawned. 

One of the more amazing things about the TV series, the original Star Trek and it’s successors, is just how much of the science “fiction” turned out to be not impossible fiction but real technology that is actually in use today. 

Think about it.

In several episodes, we were amazed at the universal translator, which decoded what aliens said in real-time—and in the later shows, it was integrated into the communication badges (which explains why basically everyone, regardless of home planet, spoke English). Now, there’s an app for that. Voice Translator by TalirApps understands 71 languages (no Klingon yet, though). You speak in your native tongue and the app translates your phrase into another language. 

Lieutenant Commander Geordi Laforge used a tablet computer (what they called Personal Access Data Devices, or PADDs) to punch in coordinates for the next star system. Other Starfleet personnel used them to watch video and listen to music. Sounds a lot like an iPad to me. 

In the Star Trek universe, you can talk to a computer (voiced by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, Trek creator Gene’s wife) in casual conversation. Today we use Apple’s Siri and Google Now, and while they aren’t fully developed yet, they are first steps toward technology like Star Trek’s computer, which has a complex understanding of context. Google even codenamed their voice-based service “Majel,” in honor of Barrett-Roddenberry.

Captain Kirk was pretty handy with a phaser, and he didn’t always set his to stun. We’ve been using something similar since the first Iraq War. Known as a dazzler, the directed-energy weapon sends a pulse of electromagnetic radiation to stop someone cold in their tracks.

I could keep going with more examples but I think you get my point. Most of that fiction on Star Trek was impossible right up until the moment it wasn’t.

So what is really impossible? 

Apparently nothing! At least not until every person living today, and every person who will live in the future agree that “it” is impossible. That’s a whole lotta people.

The lesson of Star Trek is simply; don’t let people tell you that “it” can’t be done. Don’t let other people limit your potential with their small thinking. Do what you think you can do and if you think you can’t do something think again. If someone else can do it then you can do it too. You only need a strong enough desire to make it so.

If no one else can do it then make yourself the first. Most of what we take for granted today was once considered impossible. It was impossible right up until the moment someone decided to make it possible.

Are you the person who will turn one of today’s “impossibles” into tomorrow’s “possible?” 

You are if you decide you are.

What’s REALLY Impossible?

Impossible-vs-I-m-possibleSometimes the stuff we remember is surprising, there is no particular reason to remember it but for some reason it stays with us for years and years.

So it is with a conversation I had with several of my high school classmates late in our senior year. We were talking about what we were going to do after graduation and most of us were just heading off to college. A couple of the guys however already had their careers figured out. One of my classmates, named Mark, announced he was going into something called “Cable TV.”

We had never heard of cable TV so we asked him to explain it. He said you received “lots” more channels, up to 20, but that there was a monthly charge for the service. I distinctly remember kind of laughing and asking what kind of idiot would pay for TV!  (I was sooooo smart and visionary at 18)

He confidently told us that “one day every house will be wired for Cable. It’s turns out he was a bit off, I personally know of several houses in my neighborhood alone that don’t have cable…. Okay, so they have a DISH but it ain’t Cable.

I lost touch with Mark shortly after graduation but I’d be willing to bet that if he stuck with that Cable thing he is a very rich man today.

I guess paying for TV wasn’t that outlandish of an idea after all.

Mark had a vision, it included great opportunities and huge success. The rest of us had a vision for Cable TV too, it included a little known technology and required lots of stupid people paying for something that they could get for free. Mark thought in possibilities, the rest of us thought in impossibilities.

How do you think? Are you a Mark or are you like the rest of us? Before you answer, you might want to consider what is really impossible. Below is a list of everything that has been confirmed by every human being on earth to be impossible:




You may disagree with the list, you may have more to add but remember: almost everything you take for granted today was at one time considered impossible, or was considered to be so outlandish that it wasn’t thought of at all.

Most people still think in terms of impossibilities but successful people think in terms of possibilities. Successful people know that just because something hasn’t been done doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. They also know it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

Some people “think outside the box” but the most successful people don’t even know there is a box.

Nothing, nothing, nothing is impossible until every single person on earth agrees it is. As long as one person believes something is possible, it is. It is very hard to talk your way into success but it’s very easy to talk your way out of it.

All you need to do is tell yourself that success is impossible.

Why not be the person who never gives up? Believe in stuff, believe in people, believe in YOU!

Somebody is going to do the impossible today, it might as well be you.