Seth Godin says that “Discovering what’s possible is your job.” Perhaps, the most important one we’ll ever have. We live in a world of near endless possibility, but not everything always is. Somethings just aren’t, no matter how much we might want them to be. We have to constantly do the work of daily discovering what is possible. But, the bitter truth of the matter is that, in order to do that we have to submit ourselves to the long and heart breaking task of finding out what isn’t. That’s simply the only way to find out. We have to experiment, and iterate, and try, a lot. We have to get so much wrong. We have to be willing to keep getting things wrong, and we have to keep going. We have to keep trying. That’s the most pivotal piece actually; the moving forward, the continuing to try, the persistence, the resilience. After countless attempts to find just the right filament for the light bulb, Thomas Edison said that “I have not failed. I’ve just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.” He also said that “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Perhaps this is the most vital discovery that one can possibly make in the examination of the possible: what makes it possible for one to continue to believe in the possible when one they have been so relentlessly inundated by all the things that aren’t? To sustain faith in the possibility of one more chance after a 9,999 attempts that didn’t work. What will it take to make that kind of tenacity and perseverance possible? This is what it is your job to discover, this is what it is all our jobs to discover, because if that isn’t possible than nothing is.
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