The title quote, by Daniel Kish, is taken from Impossible: The Manifesto by Joel Runyon.
Daniel is an active forty-something. He runs, rides bikes, travels the world, cooks, swims, dances, and pretty much lives life on his own terms.
Daniel is totally blind.
Before I start out, please understand I’m not here to sell you anything. This is a completely free book with no email opt-in required.
I read Joel’s manifesto a couple of nights ago. I would be fair to say starting out, my expectations were neutral. I’ve read some of his work before, and I’d seen a tweet here and there, and I’d enjoyed them, but no over-the-top lightbulb moments had occurred.
The Impossible Manifesto was an all-together different experience. I found myself jotting down note, after note on my beautiful glass paperweight, barely giving the screen enough time to turn off before grabbing it again to grapple with the non-tactile keyboard to copy something down.
These are my unedited notes on the book, from start to finish. Some are word-for-word as per the book, others are paraphrased and expanded upon. I hope they motivate you as much as they do me.
Doors begin to open and people begin to listen when you refuse to accept the standard issue life that most people live.
Things are only seen to be impossible because most people don’t try to do them. Most people just accept what other people have told them is possible.
I want you to know you’re not taking crazy pills. You’re on to something.
Life isn’t meant to bore you. Life is an adventure.
Have I really been waiting my entire life just to be picked?
Live a life worth writing about. Are you telling a good story with your life? Would anybody want to read it?
Sometime between our teenage years and adulthood people strip away the possibilities from us. We’re told what we can and what we can’t do. What’s possible and what’s not.
We’re made to believe what we should do and what’s simply irresponsible. Somewhere along the lines, we forget we are in control. It’s your life. You get to decide what happens. You get to write your story.
A story involves a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.
You are the only one who gets to choose what you do.
What do you want? It’s not enough to just want something, great characters want great things, great things that are worthwhile.
When you want something, make sure you want something worthwhile, because eventually you’re going to have to fight for it, and it better be worth it.
Don’t see conflict as the end of the story, but rather the beginning of the best part.
The best stories have conflict as the basis for the entire story. Instead of falling into conflict, actively seek it out in order to overcome it.
Most of the time failure isn’t fatal. Just because you fail doesn’t mean you have to stop. If you don’t do something because you’re scared of failure, you’ll never do anything.
When people talk about limits they’re talking about artificial caps on what you supposedly can and cannot do. Other people are limiting your possibilities based on their beliefs, not actual facts. They’re limiting the potential of your story based on what they have or haven’t been able to accomplish.
The funny thing about limits is they’re not real. It’s impossible to reach your limits because they don’t exist.
Running into a pole is a drag, but never being allowed to run into a pole is a disaster.
Just because everybody else stops at ‘good enough’ doesn’t mean you have to.
Once you make it through the limits placed on you by other people you begin to realise there are still things beyond your limits that now seem within reach.
Every time you challenge the impossible you gain a new understanding of what is actually possible. You realise how small a world you had created for yourself with your own self-imposed limitations in the past, and how big of a future is possible. Pretty soon, even the most ridiculous things in the world don’t seem out of reach if you really want to achieve them.
It’s hard to make huge jumps sometimes and imagine yourself in a completely different world living a completely different life than you are now. But that’s because of your perspective. Your current perspective colours your subjective version of reality.
Push the boundaries of impossible and you’ll see that it expands. Keep pushing and you’ll see that your subjective version of what’s possible isn’t as accurate as you think it is. The boundaries of impossible are constantly expanding. Keep pushing them.
Don’t confuse the feelings of accomplishment with feelings of inspiration. If you’ve accomplished something recently and remember what it feels like, the lure of watching someone else do something isn’t nearly as attractive.
Nobody ever tells a story about the guy who played it safe.
Do the impossible. Because no one else will.
If you plan on making your own notes as you make your way through the manifesto, give yourself a hour. If not, you can shoot through this in under half that time.
Let me and Joel know what you think in the comments.
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Posted December 13, 2011 — Subscribe to keep up to date with my latest posts.