We live our lives daily. In a very matter-of-fact way. Doing things out of habit or routine. Following our lists. Meeting our responsibilities or facing our challenges depending on the moment. There is little time to dream or explore.
In all of this, we tend to classify ourselves as optimists or pessimists. Understood by all. An optimist believes that 2 + 2 can equal five while the pessimist believes it can only be 3. Inferring that the way we see the world can affect the way we interpret it.
Possibility is a word not often mentioned in common conversation. You are more likely to hear about dreams, goals, or options. One of the definitions of possibility, as defined on the web, is: “One that is capable of being chosen or of being made real.” This definition takes possibility out of both the optimist’s and pessimist’s hands and moves it into a much different world.
Why is this a far land for us to reach in our daily lives? Because in this land of possibility, 2 + 2 could equal 7. Believably so. Not because we dream that it come true. In this world of possibility, one has figured out one or more ways that 2 + 2 could get to be 7. Understanding that to get there, there must be a mixture of time, effort, persistence, skill, and new knowledge. Knowing that some paths chosen may not work in the end.
We don’t attach these things to our dreams. We try to attach them to our goals. But sadly, most of our goals are simply incremental. First trying to push 2 + 2 to just equal 4. And then finding ways to get it to 4.5. But most of us, don’t have this gift of vision to see, not dream, of what is possible. Of seeing past our jumbled daily lives in ways that reveal new dots that we can connect to get us to a place where 2 + 2 = 7.
Our impatience constrains us into not believing in what is possible. Embracing possibility is a long-term game where we are not built to consistently pursue things today that will not pay off until some time in the future. An example of this is our relationship with exercise. All of us know that it is good for us to do. But few of us can even do it consistently for 5 days in a row.
For possibility to improve your life, you need to try to move past your dreams or goals and think in greater detail about what steps are needed to get there. Never letting the length of time needed to get there from stopping you to work towards them. In this far land of possibility, dreams and goals are just a small part of this experience. You need to become much more focused and detailed to prove to yourself, that with sacrifice and a plan, we could not only make a good choice for ourselves but truly believe that what we are setting out to do is something that can be achieved.
Science fiction embraces this far land of possibility. Our hope for our children to get a good education and to get a good job is probably the most well-defined blueprint of something that could be possible for our kids if followed. Given the proper length of time and effort.
This land of possibility is far because we make it so. We don’t lunge at patience and effort. Our confidence is weak in our abilities to do something different. Consistent effort is hard for all of us to achieve.
None of this means that embracing possibility is not possible.
We just have to have the courage to try.