You can turn mission impossible into mission possible.
“It can’t be done.” How many times have you heard that line? And I’m guessing you’ve heard it your entire. But here’s the real tragedy: After all these years you’ve accepted the myth as truth.
Have you ever made any of these statements:
- I’m a failure?
- It’s too late to change?
- I’ll never amount to anything?
- My dreams will never be realized?
When you start to think like this, you start to believe it can’t be done. You will never:
- write a book.
- complete your bucket list.
- be happy.
- have a successful marriage.
- become debt free.
Can I be honest? A couple of years ago I was down for the count and unsure of the future. But things have turned around and they are getting better.
Let me share with you my most recent victory and then show you how I turned mission impossible into mission impossible.
On Monday I wrote about my upcoming book Tom’s List: 50 Commandments to Transform Your Life. I promised it would be available soon. And it is now available for purchase on Amazon. (The Amazon link on the right sidebar will take you to it.)
Two years ago, I almost gave up on writing a book. I told myself it was too late. I wallowed in the fact I was getting older and hadn’t published a book so far, why would I think it’s possible? Publishing a book was high on my bucket list and it almost died a premature death.
According to quora.com most books published today sell less than 250 copies in a year and under 3,000 copies in it lifetime. In 72 hours it has sold 85 copies. This is not going to get me on the New York Times bestsellers list but it’s not bad for a guy who was ready to give up.
Now, what about you? What lies are you believing that are holding you back? What special dream is on life-support? If you knew you would going to die next week what would be your biggest regret?
Listen closely. You are not a failure. It isn’t too late. You will amount to something. Your dreams can be realized.
Here’s how I turned my mission impossible into mission possible:
1. I turned mission impossible into mission possible by embracing my power to decide.
Too often when we get down it’s easy to feel as though we are victims of our circumstances. And if we are victims then we start making excuses. I realized no matter how hard things were in my life I still had the power to choose.
Reject the victim mindset. OK. Life has treated you like a fourth-class citizen. I get it. But you can still choose. You can choose to work harder to get better to go further. Embrace your power to choose. In a previous article I wrote about this amazing power. Review it HERE if you missed it.
2. I turned mission impossible into mission possible by choosing myself. (I’ve written previously on this subject. If you want more information on this topic read THIS.)
This is the single greatest decision that pulled me out of despair. I decided to pick myself. Tired of waiting to be chosen I looked in the mirror and gave myself permission. I stopped waiting for gate-keepers to give me a nod of approval. I decided to self-publish. The fat cat publishers had to get out of my way. I would succeed without their help.
Just before hitting the publish button I got a note from my niece Holly who is a grade school teacher. A couple of years ago she started teaching her students the “pick yourself” principle. She posted the picture below from a student in her class.
The two most powerful words I can tell you are: CHOOSE YOURSELF. That means you move forward without permission or approval. You can do it. Choose to believe in yourself.
3. I turned mission impossible into mission possible by giving myself time to succeed.
One of the frustrations about being a pastor was those moments when someone came in for counseling because they had screwed up their life. It took decades of bad decisions for them to knot up their life. But they expected me to fix it in under 60 minutes.
Success takes time. I’ve lost track of how many hours I invested in writing Tom’s List. I started writing it more than two years ago and almost gave up. But I kept at it, word by word, and thought by thought. Give yourself time to succeed by developing realistic goals.
4. I turned mission impossible into mission possible by not quitting.
Quitting is an ever-present temptation for me. To quit means to dump the load off of your back. When the going gets tough the quitter quits. And I was tempted to give up on my dreams. But I kept going. Quitting was not an option.
Don’t quit. Quitting is the unforgivable sin from which you cannot recover. Pulling the plug is fatal. Force yourself to keep going.
What dream do you have that’s on life-support? What have you convinced yourself can’t be done? When you think of turning mission impossible into mission possible, what comes to your mind?
Thanks Randy, it’s a great article for a person like me who is living in worst circumstances throughout.
So good to hear from. Sorry that life in your world is difficult. Keep believing in yourself! Don’t give up!
“Quitting is an ever-present temptation for me.”
This seems to happen most when I lose track of appropriate purpose. For what reason am I doing a desired thing? If it’s for me, for my glorification, for my need, to fill a worth that lacks in me, then I’m far more prone to quit when the going gets tough. Like, if I mess up a couple of paintings and I feel like I’ll never be good at this (aka, the cool artists will never approve). Or, I blow it on a test in a class I’m taking (I’ll never do this teaching thing right/acceptable/make enough money/I’m not worth it/who am I kidding???).
But when my focus aligns with, for example, “I can teach someone something that may be of benefit, I can help, I have experience to share … it’s about them. Or, I paint for enjoyment, to gain a different perspective of life and others, and if it brings enjoyment to others, or not, so be it. Worth can’t be built on a foundation of approval.
If I begin with the idea of helping others, I have the chance to flourish. If I am ruled by MY perception of what others think …
… I’ll quit.
This? I’m exceptional at this. Too many purposeless years that succumbed to fears. Fear-based procrastination sucks the life out of life.
But that’s a bad place to stop! So, what am I going to do with today?
You’ve written a great commentary on this article. I love it when you say that worth can’t be built on a foundation of approval. Thanks for improving on what I’ve written!
Thanks, Garry! and Randy, for the original article! I am an artist that has had many things [legit things] in the way of a serious investment of time for making art…My outlet has been in my job, coming up with art ideas for special needs children & young adults. But I am hoping to retire/reFire soon and get on with my own artistic development, plus work with my little grandchildren! You guys are very encouraging!
Thanks Constance! I hope you find other articles on the site helpful. Garry is a super artist and is making a ReFIRE transition. If I can help please send me a message.
I have been and will continue to peruse your site. Thanks again!
Thanks, Pastor Randy, I needed #4. I am using my retirement years to write faith-based and Bible stories for children, so I can identify with the discouragements of publishing. With God’s help, I’m going to “force myself to keep going”!
Great! Thanks for reporting in. I hope my readers check out your site found at http://www.sundaybells.com Keep pushing forward!
I may have mentioned it before, but the article reminded me of receiving my college degree. No internet classes back then, or a college nearby. On the days of my classes, I had to drive a 2 1/2 hour round trip. I worked a full time job at a hot rubber factory during this time. I finally graduated in 1987. After many resumes and years, it took me almost 10 years to land another job related to my degree. Things are worth much more when we are willing to pay the price and not quit!
I mention that story in my book. It’s one of the reasons I’m proud of you. It took guts.
Randy, I’ve been reading your articles off and on for the last year. I’ve appreciated your perspective, but even more since the passing of my husband in April. Starting over is very challenging and while I embrace scripture and apply it, sometimes you need the ‘pep’ talks of not giving up and moving forward. I’m in those days of uncertainty. Thank you for your articles and the experiences and research that accompanies them. Blessings….hope to have you back to Sparta in days ahead.
So great to hear from you. I know these are difficult days of transition. Days of uncertainty can lead to a new and exciting chapter in life. Praying for you.
We all need to hear encouraging words like these every once in awhile. It’s amazing how down & discouraged we can get when things aren’t going the way we wanted them to. And it’s amazing how we can find something to grab onto to climb out of that hole and then pull off just about anything once we set our intention. Congratulations on publishing your book!! I’m going to go buy a copy right now.
Kathleen, you are so kind! Thanks for your words and the book sale. Yes. It’s so easy to get discouraged. We really need to encourage each other.