Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Anything is Possible if You Just Set Your Mind to It

A month ago I debunked an old adage – Everything Happens for a Reason. Now I'm at it again. This month I take aim at Anything is Possible if You Just Set Your Mind to It. A greater line of bullshit has never been uttered.

Why? Because we are only in control of a small fraction of what goes on around us. There's an element of randomness and luck to the universe.

Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that if we do everything right then the only possible outcome, or even the most likely outcome, is the attainment of our goals. Similarly, let's recognize that not every accomplished person deserves their standing, and therefore we shouldn't necessarily try to emulate the actions of successful people.

If I don't believe that anything is possible, then what do I believe? Glad you asked. I believe that it's a good practice to set lofty goals, but it's the journey that is important, not so much the success or failure of attaining the goal. Working hard, being part of a team, contributing to your own success and the success of others, learning, laughing, loving - these are the experiences that must be savored, the Ride that must be Enjoyed. If you focus only on the prize at the end, you miss everything important along the way.

My dream is that one day a wise and successful athlete, businessperson, or entertainer will say the following in their acceptance speech:

     "I was capable and committed. I persevered through adversity. Look what I accomplished! If you are capable and committed, and you persevere through adversity, you may also become as successful as I am. But you probably won't, through no fault of your own. I was extremely lucky, and the likelihood that you will be just as lucky is, frankly, minuscule." 

This speech may not strike you as inspirational, but it is truthful. I am more inspired these days by truth than I am by bullshit, and the older I get the better I become at recognizing the difference between the two.


  1. So wise. Your honesty is refreshing. Love your no BS approach.

  2. If anything were possible, you, Marc, George, Judy and others could kick MS out of their lives. I watched George try it all, strive to control the progression and prove not all things are possible, regardless of effort and determination. In the end, he opted for no more bullshit.

  3. KA-POW! I say this using the "illusion of control" as my nexus. Right on Mitch

    -Rick Rochon

  4. Thank you for this observation. Yes, it is the journey that is most relevant.-Kathy

  5. You're absolutely right. In my own life, if I only keep my eyes on the finish line, I miss all the joy of the journey. As I am now forced to move slowly, I find I see more than I ever did before. Don't get me wrong, I still set goals, I still have my check-off lists, but I no longer set time limits, so it becomes a steady movement forward.

  6. Judy, thank you. I'm so glad you liked it.

    xaidw, I thought this post might speak to you in particular. I think of George often.

    Rick, I like that term – illusion of control…

    Kathy, you are most welcome.

    Daphne, stop it! You make me blush :-)

    Muffie, yes it is a balancing act. We still need to motivate ourselves and try to achieve great things, but enjoy the journey whether we ever reach the goal are not. You seem to be living that way now. MS has taken a lot, but I suppose we have to give the disease credit for some positive changes in our outlooks.

  7. Mitch, you were right. Crapshoot, all of it. Be content.