Achieving the Impossible

The Story:

We have probably all heard a version of the salesperson’s complaint: As he is preparing his sales “prospect -ing call list” with his colleague on a bright October morning, Fred says grumpily that he can’t wait for this sales year to end.  “But you’ve done very well,” says his friend, “and there is still another quarter to go.”

“That’s just the point,” Fred replies. “I’ve already met my year’s quota, and I just can’t seem to get any more sales.”

My Interpretation:

This tale shows how beliefs held in the mind can become real limits to achievement. Lou Tice, an internationally renowned speaker, suggests some intriguing concepts that demonstrate ways to expand these mental boundaries.  Imagine the mind surrounded by a bubble representing the boundaries of what we believe is possible. Part of this boundary is permanent, such as my belief that the sun will come up every day, whether I see it or not. Other parts are quite elastic. To illustrate, until the early ‘50s, it was believed to be quite impossible for a human to run a mile in under four minutes.  Then, in 1954, Roger Bannister did just that. The fascinating consequence was that the following year, about 11 athletes beat the four-minute mile, and since then, hundred more beat it. So, a universally-held belief shifted through the achievement of one person who passionately believed he could do the impossible.

In business, when faced with a goal that is beyond belief, the mind works in a predictable way. Starting from the present situation, the creative mind invents a series of actions until the boundary of belief is reached. Then, the realist will say it is impossible, the optimist will pray for a breakthrough, and the team player will likely say, “I’ll try my best.”

An Intriguing Concept:

In his book, ' A Better World, A Better You', Tice claims: The ‘truth’ is in the mind, and external reality is but a reflection of the ‘truth’. He further suggests that the mind works at the level of a creative genius to ensure that external reality is in alignment with the ‘truth’. If this alignment doesn’t occur, sanity would be in jeopardy. Tice then concludes that the sole purpose of the creative genius of the mind is to maintain sanity. Think of the hilarious antics of susceptible subjects taking part in a hypnotist’s show. The subjects will do almost anything to make the external reality agree with the temporary ‘truth’ instilled by the hypnotist. Tice tells of an extreme case where the subject has their arm touched with a block of ice, but they are told that they have been burned with a red hot poker. This causes a dilemma in the subject’s mind, for such a burn, (the truth), would have to have an effect. A truly susceptible subject will actually create a blister on their arm to correct the anomaly — to maintain sanity.

The secret of achieving a goal beyond the boundaries of belief then is to mentally make the goal so real that the creative genius is driven to invent ways to make changes that will manifest the goal. The mind will scan every scrap of information for evidence of the ‘truth’. For example: You might notice a newspaper advertisement for exactly the right computer software you need, or a friend will direct you to a person who has just the right information you need to move ahead on the project. Without a firm belief in the goal, this, apparently serendipitous, information would not have come to you — because you simply wouldn’t be looking for it.

Olympic contenders not only practice their skills daily, they rehearse success in their mind with equal vigor. Can you imagine an athlete on television, when asked how they thought they would do, responding that they aimed to come in third?

The Power Of Applied Intention:

The following four steps are used by champions. I call them the INER mantra as they form a repetitive process that any of us can use to achieve outstanding personal goals:

 I - IMAGINEthe situation surrounding the goal achieved, with every detail in place. This extends the belief boundary.

N - Imagine it as if has occurred NOW. This provides urgency, whereas future events do not require immediate attention.

E - Imagine it with EMOTION - Mental ideas have little energy unless they are infused with the passion that comes from eagerness to experience the imagined event.

R - REPETITION - A single effort is not too convincing and the mantra needs to be repeated frequently for the mind to believe that you mean it.

This is the way of the champion, this is the way of the extraordinary, this is how we can achieve the impossible.  

Bryan Walton