Why I don’t believe in “impossible”.

Almost every day, I’m surprised again by someone willing to believe that a completely solvable situation is impossible to work through. The mountain is too high. The project is too big. The problem is too complex. They don’t know how, and they don’t want to learn. They’d rather sit there and talk to me about how I could do it for them… when all the tools to solve the problem they’re facing are right there in their hand. It’s more fun (addictive actually) to talk to everyone you know about a huge problem you’re facing than it is to just buckle down and solve it.

Nothing is impossible when you see every single challenge you face as a learning opportunity. Put yourself in the little bitty shoes of an industrious two-year-old who wants the candy up in the corner kitchen cabinet. It’s way up there… over their head and so high and even you, the adult, aren’t sure how to get it back down again. Then one day, your two-year-old realizes that they can move a chair, stand on the counter, use the breadbox as a step, climb on top of the refrigerator, and reach the top shelf in the forbidden cabinet. They never think about how to get back down again, so you find them stuck on top of the refrigerator hollering for help. In spite of their predicament requiring adult assistance though, the candy has been found, eaten, enjoyed, and new knowledge gained about how to get it again next time. Now that you’ve shown them how to get back down again… they know they just need to holler for help next time. Problem solved.

Imagine if adults approached life with the determination and fearlessness of a two-year-old? I doubt we’d be wondering where the next big innovation was going to come from… or wondering if the potential for innovation somehow stopped when social media was created and we all started staring at our phone to escape our challenges.

Soon, there will be a book where I get to talk about some of the details of some of the unbelievable, yet real, challenges we’ve faced and how we’ve had to problem solve our way through those challenges. Some of it would make you mad, some would make you cry, other stuff would just make you shake your head. Soon. For now though, I did want to say this:

Engage with your challenge. Climb your mountain. Conquer that crazy project. You do know how… and if you don’t, Google does. If Google doesn’t know, even better. You’re exploring new territory.

Learning is good. You can. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

Jenn is the Founder and CEO of Cotton Babies. She holds an Executive MBA from Washington University. She was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Emerging Category for the Central Midwest Region in 2011. Among many other awards, she recently received a 2017 YWCA Leader of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship. Jenn holds many patents on various inventions in a number of different countries and is listed as one of 50 Missourians You Should Know. She is particularly fascinated by languages, chickens, and children (she has four) when she’s not reading economics journals.

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4 thoughts on “Why I don’t believe in “impossible”.

  1. Well said Jenn! I just happen to have a fearless two year old, and every day her determination and success in doing things “her way”, leave me in awe (and fear!) as her mommy. We certainly can, and should, take a lesson from the little ones who are trailblazing their own path without a care in the world.

  2. I can’t wait for a book either. I find that I FEEL inadequate and unable to tackle these mountains. It is almost as if I am tied up. I need a good “sister” to come beside me and help me to not only see but take the first step as I know once you get the first step the rest seem to come, not always easily but easier. The last 10 years our family has been hit hard with many challenges and the last few years have been the hardest. I think our family has grown weary. It is not that we can’t, we just need some sort of energy boost to help us keep going and not give up. I so wish I could meet you some day as I feel you would be a diamond to put in my treasure box. I have been fortunate to meet a few diamonds in my life. They are few and far between but so very helpful to keep going on your journey of life. God Bless you and your family!!