“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”

Just as we’ve been told many times before that we should dare to dream the impossible dream, we have also been told just how impossible those dreams really are, oftentimes by ourselves. As we get started with a new year filled with new opportunities and new possibilities, we must once again challenge ourselves to be better, go further and climb higher.

Best remembered as the author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a 16th and 17th century Spanish novelist, poet and playwright who is oftentimes simply credited as Cervantes. The quote above reminds us of a very simple, yet poignant fact: to limit ourselves to the realm of the realistic and attainable is inherently self-limiting. It is only when we go beyond the reasonable that we can accomplish truly amazing and arguably “impossible” things.

It is far too easy to get caught up in negative self-talk. Oh, I’ll never be able to be a published author. I’ll never be able to work for myself and run my own company. I’ll never be able to travel the world and I’ll never rid myself of this burdensome debt. And with that mindset, those kinds of thoughts really do become self-fulfilling.

Flip the script, strive for the absurd, and you just may surprise yourself. Nothing is impossible and Cervantes certainly wasn’t the only one who had this kind of outlook on life.

“Impossible only means that you haven’t found the solution yet.”

This unattributed quote has been illustrated and demonstrated in real life time and time again. Many people thought it would be impossible to put a man on the man. Many people thought it would be impossible to circumnavigate the globe. Many people thought it would be impossible to build supercomputers on such a microscopic scale. And somehow, these were all achieved.

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”

We close this first Sunday Snippet of the year by turning away from Spain and Cervantes and toward the Far East with this Chinese proverb. Those who aim for the impossible are going to miss and they’re going to fail. But if the naysayers get out of the way, these dreamers just may achieve something incredible.