who gets to define what’s possible?

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When I was in the tenth grade, my English teacher assigned us a paper. It became the day I realized I was going to do things no one believed I could do.

We were supposed to write about what we wanted to do in our life, the career we wanted. At some point, during her explanation, she asked us to write down how much money we wanted to make a year. 

At this point, I was already learning a bit about entrepreneurship and was aware that it was entirely possible for people to make over $100,000 a year. (I mean, I knew there were millionaires, I just hadn’t thought about it as a real possibility for myself.)

There was a paper on the projector screen that displayed the amount of money that we could write down. It was in the form of some bar, and the greatest number on that sheet was $100,000. Obviously, that’s what I wanted to aim for. 

However, before I could write it down, my teacher said something along the lines of, “Don’t write down $100,000. Be realistic.” I almost scoffed loudly at the ridiculousness of that comment. Be realistic.

What she was doing was telling us how to dream. More accurately, she was telling us to limit our dreams. 

I’m not hating on my english teacher (she was really nice), but who was she to tell us what was realistic and what was not?

Who is anyone to tell us that we’re dreaming too big or that our goals are unachievable? I never got the memo that parents could prevent us from doing what we love simple because, “You can’t do that.” I was never told that teachers were allowed to tell us that our dreams were impossible to reach, that we had to be realistic.

No one has the right to tell you that you can’t go after your dreams. No one gets to decide that your dream is too big or unrealistic. 

You have limitless opportunities, and you can try to achieve your “impossible goals” every single day because you believe it’s possible.

The only person who gets to define what’s possible is you.

You’re allowed to believe that your impossible dream is possible. You’re allowed to have crazy goals and go after them because, ultimately, this is your life.

People are going to tell you that you can’t do what you can do. Family members. Friends. Even strangers. Sometimes, it’ll get to your head, and that’s okay. You’re human, and no matter how much you believe in yourself, every now and then you’re going to have doubts.

Just be sure that you’re catching those thoughts when that happens, because while others can limit you, you can limit you, too. Just as you can define what’s possible, you define what’s impossible. 

Whatever you believe is impossible will be impossible.

And if one day someone does the thing you wanted to do, it’s because they chose to believe it was possible. It’s all about what you think.

If you believe you can do the work that feels like play every single day, and get paid for it, you’ll be able to do that because you told yourself it was possible. 

I may be confused about life 95% of the time like all the other twenty-somethings out there, but I stand by what I’ve said in this entire article.

In summary, next time some asshole tells you that your goal is impossible just say, “There are machines in the sky that can fly. They literally take you to another country in a matter of hours!” And then just walk away. 

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations

Dr. Mae Jemison, astronaut and physician

What are some goals you’ve set for yourself that others might define as impossible? Do you think they’re possible? Let me know in the comments below!

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