I have been fortunate enough in my life to suffer from the Peter Pan Syndrome; I simply refuse to grow up. I often laugh to tears over the silliest of things. I love going to Disney World and feeling the nostalgia from my childhood. I own a copy of my favorite book, Make a Face, from when I was 6 years old.
Let me ask you a question: have you stopped believing anything is possible? We read quotes like “only those that see anything as possible can achieve greatness” or “some see the problems, others see the possibilities.” Do you believe these statements? I mean way down deep inside you belief. If not, what killed that optimism? When did you make the decision that all things are not possible?
I like the thought of recapturing the “eyes” of my childhood; trying once again to see the world through the eyes I used when I was not jaded and cynical, when the world was full of possibilities and wonder.
Children are amazing in their innocence because they do not realize impossibilities exist! To the child all things are possible. Unicorns with wings of an eagle? Yep! Animals that speak? Yep! Turning oneself into a cartoon character? Yep! The world is only limited by the limits of the imagination!
So I ask again…when did you stop believing? When did you begin to limit yourself with words like “impossible,” “unrealistic,” “irresponsible,” “unbelievable?” When you were a child did you dream of being a mid-level executive, working for average wages and strongly disliking/hating your existence? No! Not one child on this planet ever dreamed of working in a cubicle. So I ask you again…when did you stop believing?
It reminds me of the lyrics from one of my favorite songs, The Impossible Dream:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star
When you say something is impossible you are categorizing the world into two basic divisions: things that are possible and things that are impossible. You are limiting your mind, your world-view and your chances for incredible achievement!! Why you say? Once you have deemed something impossible there is no reason for your mind to spend time questioning the possibilities so the thought is discarded to make room for more fruitful, “realistic” endeavors. So your mind will focus its energies only on those things you deem “possible.”
What if you reversed your “impossible” and “possible” lists and began focusing on doing things you have considered impossible? That is exactly what Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers did; as well as Gates, Ford, Jobs, Disney, Tesla…
Remember that there was a time when man did not fly in airplanes or drive in cars or work in skyscrapers or use the internet or use washing machines or communicate via Skype or carry mobile phones or listen to digital music or fly into space or send robots to Mars…don’t let the world kill your imagination.
At this very moment I want you to eliminate the word “impossible” from your vocabulary.
“That’s what’s wrong with the world. Too many people grow up.” This quote by Walt Disney hangs on the wall of my house in the upstairs stairwell. I see it every time I climb the stairs and it is a constant reminder of something lots of adults forget: humans were designed to dream big dreams!
What separates a 10 year old child from a 40 year old man? If you watch the manner in which they live what difference will you notice? They both sleep, walk, eat, talk, think, cry, laugh, worry, urinate, wonder, etc. One glaring difference between children and grownups is the use of creativity and imagination!
Every day children use their imagination to create! Paintings, sketches, coloring books, skits, imaginary friends and writing stories are just a few examples. And this creativity is what truly separates children from most adults. A child finds it very natural to play games, pretend, use their imagination. Whereas, an adult does not. Did you ever see the Tom Hanks movie “Big?” In the movie a young man wishes to be big. He awakens the next morning to find himself to be fully grown. He has to move to the city, finds a job and eventually starts acting like an adult. It is a funny movie, but the underlying meaning of the flick runs much deeper: childhood and innocence is precious and fleeting, eventually, we all grow up. And it is not a good thing!
Many adults lose their inner child as they get older and fall victim to a lie that society screams from the rooftops: not everyone can live their dreams, so get in line with everyone else and get back to work. And I find it sad that so many have buried their dreams under years of complacency and status quo. A recent poll claimed that as much as 70% of working Americans dislike or hate their job.
We must reawaken that inner child and see the world anew. See life with new eyes and begin to believe again. Life can be so brutal, cold and unforgiving. And life can beat you down, turn you around and yell in your face, “What makes you think you are good enough to live a spectacular life?!”