“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
- Nelson Mandela
There are 95-and-over age brackets at track tournaments.
People scoff. I send them clips of the 102-year-old record holder: https://youtu.be/tOzCoDvRqyk
There are people missing limbs whose strength performances rival division I collegiate superstars.
People scoff. I send them clips of amputees pulling 630lb deadlifts: https://youtu.be/wnmKXzq6Zuo
There are 50-year-old moms in better shape than most of my male peers when they were in their 20s.
People scoff. I send them a clip of Olympic gymnast Oksana Chusovitina who was THE top ranked vaulter in the world just a few years ago: https://youtu.be/XNNmjH0nxWM
About 90% of billionaires are at least in their 50s, 70% are at least in their 60s, 40% are over 70. The average age for a person’s net assets to exceed the millionaire mark is their late 50s.
People scoff, ready to give up at 30, 40, 50. I forward them the FIRST book Bertha Wood ever published: https://www.amazon.com/.../ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp.... She began penning it at age 90. It first published when she was 100-years-old.
There are destitute people with no advantages who find a toehold and make a way.
People scoff. Learn Oprah’s backstory. Read Mark Mathabane’s “Kaffir Boy.” Read Nick Vujicic’s “Life Without Limits.” Jim Kwik is now a world-renowned expert on learning and memorization. Growing up, he was known as “the boy with a broken brain,” saddled with a learning disability so severe that most educators thought him a lost cause.
Disproportionately, a majority of my best clients and employees were/are minorities and very unlike me. People with broken cognition, broken thyroids, broken bodies, broken spirits, broken mentality, broken trust of society, have all shown me that they can excel specifically where others say “it’s impossible; the game is rigged.” Well, the game is rigged. I agree. But you will never catch me agreeing that it’s impossible.
Mandela was right. But he didn’t go far enough in that quote. Even after we see that it’s possible, we still round up “difficult” or “rare” to “impossible.” The resistance against improvement is so fragile and so dedicated to its victim narrative that there are now sophisticated ways to try to shame encouragement. I’ve seen simple realistic encouragement replied to as “toxic,” or “culturally insensitive,” or worse. People will insist that an event of the past must enslave them for the future. When they choose perpetual victimhood, what other conclusion is there but "impossible"?
What is more toxic and culturally insensitive than to label a well-meaning advocate as “toxic” and “insensitive”? Those labels only work for someone who is mired in their own ethnocentrism. They only “work” for an elitist and exclusivist. Absolutely, I agree that people can misuse/abuse rare or outlier stories as a way to dismiss averages and become tone deaf to underprivileged people. That does happen. But to throw the blankets of “toxicity” and “insensitivity” on every single factual item which challenges victim narratives is the bigger error. It’s the biggest error. It’s a selfish, arguably narcissistic, opinion-brandishing which seeks to undermine positivity and honest encouragement. Insisting on perpetual victimhood is primarily a way to persecute and bully others. Hurt people hurt people.
It always seems impossible until it’s done?
The mind determines what’s possible before it even tries and certainly when it doesn't know. Those who insist on victim narrative debate that all things are impossible. All things are impossible to the person who insists on remaining forever a victim to that which isn't currently happening. And possibilities unfold precisely at the juncture where we choose not to be victim, to no longer be victim, to stop imagining the present is shackling us because of our obsession with the past or the imaginary.