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How to Make the “Impossible” Happen

How to Make the “Impossible” Happen

Many people have what they call a “bucket list”: namely, a list of things they want to experience or accomplish before they die. Sometimes, a bucket list just doesn’t cut it, however, which is why making an “impossible list” is the way to go. Following the rules of Joel Runyon’s impossible list, learn how to accomplish the things that you think you’ll never be able to do, and how to drive yourself to do more.

What do you believe to be impossible?

The first step in this process is to figure out what you believe to be impossible. Some common activities include:

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  • Running a marathon
  • Going skydiving
  • Going a whole year without fast food
  • Reaching a million Twitter followers
  • Learning how to play piano
  • Learning a foreign language fluently

These are the things that you don’t think that you could accomplish in 100 years, yet you want to do your best to achieve them.

Bucket Lists

An impossible list isn’t a bucket list. It’s not a guide for you to accomplish things that you think are possible and that you want to do before you do; an impossible list is what you think is IMPOSSIBLE. It’s important to separate the two very different types of lists and focus on the impossible.

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The reason why it’s called an impossible list is because you find the activity to be impossible to accomplish, while a bucket lists suggests a list of things that you know you can accomplish if you put your mind to it. The main difference between the two is that an impossible list not only requires a strong mind, it also requires a strong body, sense of self, and passion to always do more.

What’s next?

Once you’ve configured your impossible list, the next thing that you should is this: go. The only way to really get started is to pick something, and really go after it. For example, if your list contains running a marathon, you should get off your couch and go for a jog. Every week, you should be doing more. Your focus should not only be the run, but what you need to do to be successful in completing a marathon. This means fixing your diet. It means finding great resources on running. It means running a 5K and then a 10K and then a half-marathon; it’s as if you’re climbing a ladder to get to the length of a marathon. 

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See, it’s not just about trying to go from 0 to impossible, it’s about the steps that you have to take to get there. Most of the time, this requires focus and attention to accomplish the impossible. But you didn’t expect anything less, right?

Adding/subtracting

Your list can be dynamic; it can be ever-expanding and evolving into whatever you want it to be. This means adding things to your list, or even subtracting some things (for overlying circumstances that prevent you from accomplishing one of your goals). The main idea is to get to you work harder than you even have and ultimately, to get you to get rid of the word “impossible” so that you can become the best person that you believe you can be.

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This isn’t about anyone else, this is about you.

Last, but not least

It’s important to note that you must have a strong desire to accomplish the things that you think are impossible. If you don’t possess this, chances are you’ll come up short and you’ll begin to lose the motivation, drive, and inspiration that is necessary to accomplish the impossible.

This is no easy feat. In fact, most people may give up. They may get discouraged and want to stop doing it altogether, but if you’re still reading this, chances are you’re not one of those people. You’re someone who will accomplish the extraordinary and maximize your growth.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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