After a five year voyage, the Juno space probe has just arrived, is now successful in going into orbit around Jupiter, our solar system's biggest planet. Amazing to ponder. Five years ago, a group of experts thought it possible that this "machine" would make the trip. They designed, using all the technical information at hand, and sent it off.
A site named The Heart of Innovation published 50 quotes on possibilities--FIFTY! Some are shared below. Click on the site when you can to read other good quotes.
"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll
"The Wright brother flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility." - Charles Kettering
"In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd." - Miguel de Cervantes
"The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do." - Henry Moore
I've been thinking about this since I heard Juno was close, about those things we do in our "slices of life" that we may originally have thought as impossible. Yet, because we're curious, or motivated, even desperate, we DO. And, as a "now former" teacher and a grandmother, I wonder about messages sent about doing impossible things to students, my children and grandchildren. Have I done enough "showing" instead of "telling"?
There have been things in my life in the past that I've done I thought were impossible, personal challenges that I didn't want to do at all, but I didn't get to choose to quit. I had to confront my fears and do them, because there was no one else to do them. These were mostly emotion-filled times, those that might keep anyone wanting to stay under the covers.
This time I am not writing about those things mentioned above, but actions that one could stop, walk away from. Sometimes they are physical. I rode horses as a youth, but began riding seriously in my forties, and thought I'd never "get it". My teacher even yelled at me that I wasn't trying hard enough. I didn't quit, kept trying, read all I could about horse and rider behavior and finally, I felt successful. I've rock climbed, with and without ropes, and hoped my students didn't see me shaking. I guess long ago I never would have thought I could do it, but the few times I have, that thrill of "impossible" called.
Then there are the smaller things I think might make me quit. For example, I have a small push mower for my very small lawn, and figured out that I needed to take it in to be sharpened. I could not get the bolts off to take the handle off so it would fit in my car! I tried, went back in the house and did something else. I tried again, thinking "it's impossible". Finally, I brought out the toolbox, laid all the "possible" tools that I could use instead of the wrench I had been using. I found a larger pair of pliers, and did it!
There are other examples. One foremost is the act of submitting my writing and accepting rejections, but not stopping. This is a different kind of "doing the impossible", so I wonder if the submissions are doing the impossible, or is achievement only when I publish something?
So, I'm asking about when you may have done an "impossible" thing, and perhaps mentored others by your actions. And I do realize that "impossible" means so, so many different things to each one of us. Perhaps the feat of sending a probe into space is a loose connection, or is it a real connection to the way we live? It's important to me to know about myself, and I wonder if you consider it too?