Have you ever noticed that we have a tendency to believe we know exactly what is and is not possible in the world? We feel that we’ve got everything figured out, that nothing eludes us as a species. It’s a dangerous concept, because it limits us from experiencing possibility.
A semi-complicated example: In science, there is a theory that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be converted from one form to another. This is the law of conservation of energy. However, there are countless inventions (like this one) based off of the work of Nicola Tesla that seem to defy the law of conservation. If any of these inventions do, in fact, create more energy than they use (a positive feedback loop), we could be creating total green energy. However, because we’ve deemed a law of physics that says it isn’t possible, we aren’t doing any high level research on the subject, potentially missing the solution to our energy problem. The kicker about the perpetual-energy devices, by the way? Tesla claimed to have invented one in 1890.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
– Audrey Hepbun
And that’s where the point of the above lies. By closing off an idea in our belief system as impossible, we have made it so, even when it isn’t. And we do it in such a fluid way that we (as a species) lose our old abilities. Think about life before you owned a cell phone. Doesn’t it now seem impossible to live that way? How did we ever survive?
In your business, remember that, when faced with two paths, the choice you make now will never eliminate that other option. No matter how far down the path you go, you can always go back and switch forks. It’s an important thing to remember. Switching may cost money, but not switching could cost more. Don’t get so caught up in the investment you’ve already made that you don’t go back and make a wiser choice.
Speaking of the way things used to be for us, Christopher McDougal, author of Born to Run, gave this excellent TED talk about how humans were meant to run. My wife is a runner, and stumbled across it the other night. What struck me the most was his mention that, since he started running barefoot, he has had fewer injuries. Maybe we don’t need shoes, and he’ll explain why. Enjoy!