The impossible is merely something anyone has not done until someone does it.
Studies show that the best time to teach an earthworm tricks is shortly before midnight. (Paul Stirling Hagerman, It’s a Weird World). I’ll say first-off, that if you’re staying up until just before midnight teaching an earthwork tricks – I offer life coaching and we need to talk. Besides, I would have thought that it was impossible to teach an earthworm tricks. How did I know that I was attempting it at the wrong time of day? Anything is possible.
Florine Thornhill in Roanoke, VA. was 73 years of age when this story took place. Florine walked to town with an extraordinary request of city hall. She wanted to borrow a lawn mower to make her part of the city better. For some time she had passed an overgrown lot. One day she passed the lot and she noticed a woman was passed out in the high grass. She walked on. When she was having breakfast that morning, she said to herself, “Wait a minute, how could I walk on? There was a woman there who was unconscious in the high grass. Have I become so accustomed to the blight of the neighborhood that it doesn’t bother me anymore?”
She walked to city hall and asked a very suspicious clerk, “Could I borrow a lawnmower so I can cut the grass?” She took the lawnmower back and with the help of her son, she woke up this lady who was passed out and took her to the hospital. Then she cut the grass on this one lot. The neighbors started to watch what this 73-year-old woman was doing and they started to wonder what this was about. Then they told her, “You are just one person. You can’t make a difference. There are drug dealers on every corner of this neighborhood. It is going downhill and there is no way you as one person can fix this up.” She went on and said, “Well, you can join me or not, but I am going to do what I can possibly do as one person.”
This 73-year-old woman borrowed the mower and cleaned one lot. By next week, 15 middle-aged and elderly residents were picking up trash and mowing vacant lots around the neighborhood. In 1980, Roanoke city officials asked Thornhill and her neighbors to join in a pilot project with three other city neighborhoods. It would allow them to set goals for their city, to show the officials how to turn their poor, urban areas around. The experiment was successful, thanks to Florine Thornhill and other ordinary people like her. Over 25 neighborhoods are working in the system to improve Roanoke.
Someone once said –
A moment exists within each of us in which context suddenly shifts. And what has seemed impossible becomes possible, an instant in and out of time when we take responsibility for the world and what it could be.
Join me in asking ourselves – “Where in my life do I need to shift the context of my thinking?” What have I been struggling with for a long time? Or where have I been accepting struggle as normal as Florine had when she passed that lady lying in the grass? Where have I taken up residence in a problem? Where do I need to change the game?
Anything is Possible.
Motivational speaker, (my apologies for the short ad you’ll have to endure if you click on the link) Les Brown says, “If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you,” (And as with Florine) “nothing will be impossible.”
Ask yourself, “Is there something in my life that I desire that seems impossible?” According to Les Brown, “It’s only impossible because you have not yet done it. Once you do it, it won’t be impossible.
One of the laws of mind is that we become like that with which we identify ourselves.
If you have a problem in your life, if you have a challenge that is limiting you, if you have a wall you can’t climb over, if everyone else is having the same problem you are having – maybe you’re looking for a job, trying to sell your house “in this housing market,” or maybe you are having some relationship challenges, change the game.
We become like that with which we identify ourselves.
Now is the time to stop becoming like the problem and become like the solution.
In 1992, Teri Lucas’ 15-year-old son, Kevin died of a heart attack while attending class at his high school. Kevin had undergone a heart transplant earlier in his life and everything appeared to be going well. But in fact his heart had been in rejection. In 1992 it was virtually impossible to save a 15-year-old who experienced a heart attack.
Eleven years later Teri would be teaching her 8th grade class when her pager indicated there was a medical emergency in her school building. Her pager was a function of her being an emergency medical technician. As she headed out of her class another teacher shouted at her, “It’s in the art room.” Teri had no idea of what “it” was. As she entered the room she observed a school nurse and police resource officer on the floor with a very young boy. They were using a bag and mask, trying to give the child air. As Teri prepared to start heart compressions, another officer entered with an automated external defibrillator. Teri applied the pads to the boy’s chest and the machine analyzed his heart and recommended an electric shock.
She’d been trained not to use the machine on a child, but everyone began telling her to push the button. Soon the boys eyes began to flutter, he opened his eyes and looked around the room. Teri Lucas was a middle school teacher at the time of this incident in Pflugerville, Texas. She is a speaker and the founder of Kardiac Lifesavers: Training Hands to Save Hearts. The boy she worked on would make it. In 2003, eleven years after Teri’s son died in similar circumstances, it was possible to save a young boy’s life who had sustained a heart attack.
According to Jack Canfield in his book Success Principles, “It’s not what you don’t know that holds you back, it’s what you know that isn’t true.” The impossible is merely something anyone has not done until someone does it.