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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 July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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