Lesson #44 – Anything Is Possible

–Leaders are always attempting the impossible

I have a sign in my house that reads, “He who attempts the impossible has little competition.” Have you ever thought about that?

All the competition is down at the bottom. In the corporate world, all the competition is for the hourly paid jobs. There is no competition at the top.

It reminds me of the movie “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and the opening scene with all the seagulls fighting for scraps of fish floating in the ocean. Then the camera pans up to the sky and Jonathan is soaring high above . . . alone.

What impossible thing are you willing to go after this week? If you are in sales, can you attempt to communicate with an impossible number of prospects? Are you willing to even let yourself think of how you would get to an impossible number of prospects?

Can you attempt to have what you view to be an impossibly fun week? Can you let yourself attempt to have an impossible romantic evening?

A wise business mentor once told me that he ripped the word “impossible” out of his dictionary. When one of his children said something was impossible, he would reply, “There is no such word.” When the child would argue he’d hand them the dictionary and challenge them to find the word “impossible.” It wasn’t there.

To most people, possible is merely a reference made about what they have already seen others do. It’s common knowledge that at one time breaking the four-minute mile was thought to be “impossible.” The human body physically couldn’t do it.

Once Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, half a dozen people did it shortly thereafter. Within several years, over 300 people had run four-minute miles and today they are doing it in high school.

Decide, right now, what impossible thing you are going to let yourself think about this week and actually attempt. For the moment, don’t even worry about whether you achieve it. Simply experience putting yourself in the realm where there is no competition.


Impossible is usually a relative term based on
past experiences you have seen.

Action Step #1

Write the saying, “He who attempts the impossible has little competition,” on a piece of paper and tape it to the dash of your car. It will trigger you to risk at a level beyond your norm.

Action Step #2

Take something you want to do that you think is impossible, such as buy a house with no money. Sit with two people who are more successful than you and brainstorm the possibilities.

For example, not long ago I sat with someone in Toronto, Canada, who saw a $650,000 piece of property he wanted, but thought it was impossible for him to get it. I asked whether the down payment or the monthly cash flow was the problem?

He said he had saved money and could make the down payment, but he couldn’t afford the monthly payment. I asked if he knew that there were people with the opposite problem who could afford the extra monthly, but did not have the down payment? He could see that.

I asked what would happen if he asked them to pay the $1,000 a month he was short and they received a part interest in the house? That way, they got involved in real estate appreciation without a down payment and he got into his house.

He hadn’t thought of that. Then he said, “You know, there is a basement I could rent out for $500, too.” Already the world of possibilities was opening up for him.

An Example

The mission of Klemmer & Associates is to develop the bold, ethical, compassionate leaders who will create a world that works for everyone with no one left out. To most people that is audacious.

No one left out means everyone is literate, everyone has enough to eat, everyone has clean water and shelter, and everyone has meaningful work.

Will that happen in my lifetime? I doubt it. Is it an impossible dream that has brought into being some spectacular successes? Yes.

Already, we have just signed a deal for doing our work in Saudi Arabia. We also hope to do our work in the United States Congress and Senate, which would revolutionize how this country spends our money.

We are on our way, one step at a time.

“While they were saying among themselves it couldn’t be done, it was done”
–Helen Keller

One Response to “Lesson #44 – Anything Is Possible”

  1. Tom Haupt says:

    Great words of wisdom from a great teacher and mentor! 

Leave a Reply