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Not Possible

26 May

When we want to do something new, especially something that hasn’t been done before, we may hear others tell us it can’t be done. If nobody has yet accomplished what we’ve set our sights on, some may say it isn’t possible. But that isn’t always true. Every day someone does something nobody has ever achieved in the past and although we know that, if we’re trying to do something new, the opinions of those around us may influence us. It would be wonderful if we could get unlimited support for all our ideas, but that doesn’t often happen. There will be some who will agree with our plans and even try to help with them, and others who will tell us we’ll never succeed. Perhaps there is fear for our safety, or fear of the changes the accomplishment could bring. Sometimes people aren’t supportive because they lack the courage to try new things and don’t want others to succeed. But if we want to do something, no matter what that something is, we are certainly capable of doing it. Even if all the winds blow against us, if we are determined to succeed, we can move forward. There really isn’t anything we can’t do if we want to badly enough. It doesn’t matter if it’s never been done before, it doesn’t matter if nobody thinks we can succeed, and it doesn’t matter if we’re the only ones who want to do it. We can do anything we like. We have enough initiative and courage to accomplish anything. All we need is to believe in ourselves.

Sometimes we start something new and unforeseen complications arise that make it hard to move forward. We don’t always know all the details at the beginning and when they appear they can stop us for a time. We may begin to doubt our ability to move forward. We might start to listen when we hear others say it can’t be done, and we might begin to believe it was a bad idea. But we can remember why we wanted to do this, and why it was important to us. If it’s still something we want, we can manage whatever complications arise. It might take longer than we thought it would to get to the goal, and it might be harder than we knew when we started. None of that matters if we really want to succeed. If it takes longer, we can stay on course. If it’s harder, we can get help. There is nothing that can stop us if we want the goal badly enough.

As we push forward, eventually the end will be in sight. Sometimes when we get close to success we feel trepidation. When the goal is near, we may feel unsure we can manage the changes that are coming. After all, we’ve spent all our time pressing forward and really have no idea what things will look like when we get to the end. We may hesitate to take the last few steps. If that happens we can remember why we set the goal to begin with and what we want to gain. We can be confident in our decision to seek it and bravely move forward to success. Change always takes some adjustment, even when the change is positive. We are perfectly capable of managing success and adjusting to whatever changes it brings. We know what we want and we are courageous enough to get it.

Today if there is something you really want to do but others are saying it can’t be done, or that it isn’t possible, trust yourself. You know what you want and you know how to succeed. Set your course and move forward. You are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to. You deserve all the success you are seeking. Keep your eyes focused forward and you’ll get there.

Take that!

9 May

I have a friend who is generally nice, and amiable. But when she gets angry, she has no boundaries to what she will say or do. She says things that are vicious, and destructive to make her point. She goes way too far. I asked her about this, and she said she does it so the argument will end quickly. “If you crush them, they give in, and the fight is over,” she said, and in some ways she’s right. I have another friend with the same model. If he ever has a disagreement he, too, goes way too far. He uses a cannon when a flyswatter would have been enough. He says and does horrible things to hurt the other person, and it’s always destructive. He also says that he does this because it ends the fight quickly. And he likes returning to the relationship after the destruction to patch everything back up, and make it better. He likes that part a lot. It’s like a personal destroy, and recovery mission.

There could be no worse models for handling disagreements than these, and yet despite discussing the situation with them several times, they are either unable or unwilling to change. And so it continues. I’ve had many experiences with both of these people through the course of our friendships, and when they get angry and say horrible things, and make destructive comments way out of the scope of the disagreement, I am so stunned that I naturally end the conversation. The argument is over quickly, which is their goal – but the pain, and damage from the conversation remain. As a result of these behaviors, whether they acknowledge it or not, their relationships with others suffer. After they attack someone, it takes a while for the injured party to recover, and begin to trust them again. And sometimes they won’t ever trust them again, and decide instead to let the relationship go.

If we go for the jugular in our disagreements, if we go too far for whatever reason, we may lose more in the end than we want. People are flexible to a point. They will allow us to hurt them to a point. But once that point is reached, they may walk away, and abandon the relationship. So the question comes, is it worth the cost of a friendship to make a point? Is it worth losing someone we value so we can win? There is nothing to be gained by crushing others because of a disagreement. We may feel powerful in the moment, but that power is an illusion. The only power we are really displaying is the power to destroy a relationship. Anyone can do that. It’s not powerful at all. So, is it worth it to win the argument at any cost? Perhaps we need to rethink that. Perhaps the real power is when we use discretion and respect, and protect the relationships we cherish, even in conflict.

We all disagree from time to time. We all let others down sometimes. We will naturally argue, and we will have uncomfortable discussions. Unless we are fighting for our lives, there is no justifiable reason to destroy anyone we are disagreeing with. It’s just a disagreement. Sure, maybe they let us down, maybe they hurt our feelings, or maybe they did something truly horrible. No matter what they’ve done, trying to destroy them will not restore what has been lost, or repair the situation. It will probably make it worse. If we lose our self-control, and if we lose the relationship altogether, winning the argument won’t be worth it.

Today if you have a disagreement with someone, even if they’ve been horrible to you, remember that what you do is your decision. You may vanquish them, stick the knife in their heart so to speak, but what will you gain afterward? Will it be worth how you feel about yourself later? Will it be worth losing a friend? Think before you throw that spear. Think before you say those words. Think. Will it be worth the cost? What do you really want to gain?