Dwell in Possibility. ~Emily Dickinson
Ever since I heard this saying, I have felt a kinship to it. It begs for dreamers. It takes the lid off limited thinking. It lets us linger in the land of what-if.
Consider this: much of the technology that we comfortably now use every day seemed impossible 75 years ago. Even 20 years ago many could not imagine how much memory could be contained in a tiny chip or a little jump drive. Not when a computer was the entire floor of a building. But someone did imagine it.
Certainly, like me, you’ve been around your share of naysayers. You can’t do this, you can’t do that. That’s not such a great idea. I used to be a part of brainstorming sessions. Every single idea was considered. Even the silly-sounding and obvious ones. Why? Because when you open the floor to possibility, and every idea is equally respected, one idea triggers another. You couldn’t know in the beginning what any idea would spark in another person. And the ideas would start slow and gain momentum and suddenly everyone participated. Many good ideas came out of such welcoming environments.
Suspending belief is something that we do when we go to the movies. We allow someone else to run with their idea for about two hours. But, the moment we step out of the theatre, many of us go right back to life as usual. What if you began asking what if?
To break out of your routine (or rut) you must start thinking a different way. By asking what if, you begin challenging what you already believe. You may test what you believe. Inventors do this all the time. Without what-iffers we wouldn’t have the car, the TV or VR! We wouldn’t have fashion or a flag on the moon. Creatives understand the rewards of thinking beyond what they know and seeking innovative ways to express ideas and beauty. It’s how new stories begin. What if you changed the ending of your favorite book? A whole new line of thinking opens up.
Creatives understand the rewards of thinking beyond what they know and seeking innovative ways to express ideas and beauty. It’s how new stories begin. What if you changed the ending of your favorite book? A whole new line of thinking opens up.
What if instead of one decision you made, you had chosen the opposite? Dwelling in possibility gives a fleeting idea that we might normally dismiss, time and consideration. Such thoughts can be revolutionary. Entertaining an idea—whether it’s becoming a great musician, or film director or an English instructor in a foreign country—could change your life.
What is the most outrageous idea you can conjure up? And then what happens? How far can you pursue it? How far will you pursue it? I challenge you to come up with five “impossible ideas” and then steep them in possibility. Choose one and follow through with it. I dare you to dwell in possibility and then come back and tell us what happened!