Expect The Possible

from the Flub series of cartoons by David Robinson

from the Flub series of cartoons by David Robinson

There is a Great Impossibility that looms when people or organizations step toward the creation of something new. See if you can catch it. It is a false expectation that is subtle but pure insanity once you see it. The conversation always goes something like this:

“We are trying to create something new but we’re having problems.”

“What’s stopping you?” I ask.

“We don’t know how to do it. We can’t move until we know how. Can you help us?”

I never answer this question. The only honest answer is, “It depends on what you’re willing to see and on your courage once you open your eyes.” That is not a very useful response. So, I usually ask, “What do you think you need help with?” That question is always a show-stopper!

Did you catch it? Did you see The Great Impossibility? It lives in the expectation that knowing “how” is a prerequisite to creating something new. The Great Impossibility is the belief that “how we do it” can be known ahead of time. “We have to know before we can step.” It is impossible. You can’t know. The skill is in learning to take a step anyway.

“How” is a trail that becomes visible after the path has been walked. “How” can only be known after the new thing is created. Think about it like this: if you know how to do it, you will inevitably recreate the old thing; it may have a new look but structurally it will be a repeat. If you follow a known path you will arrive at a known location. Creating, innovating, and learning, to be vital, are forays into unknown territory. They are explorations. They require leaving the known world behind for a while. They require exploding the expectation of “knowing how.”

The second Great Impossibility: expecting the walk into the new world to be comfortable. That’s a post for another day.

Go here to get my latest book, The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator…You.title_page

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