Impossible isn’t a declaration.
It’s a dare.
How do I know? Because Muhammad Ali told me so. Ali was not only the greatest athlete of the twentieth century but one of the most interesting humans in modern history. Ali died a year ago this month.
I was so moved by his story that I compiled and published an anthology of writing by him and his contemporaries. (I’m biased, but I strongly recommend the book. You can buy it in print or ebook here.)
Ali was also a terrific wordsmith. Here’s what he had to say about the limiting word “impossible.”
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” — Muhammad Ali.
For no good reason, most of us believe there are things we just can’t do. I wrote recently about how I believed it would be impossible for me to improve my penmanship. But when I identified this faulty thinking I was able to change it.
Many of us believe we can accomplish almost anything. But that’s not enough. We need to believe we can accomplish anything.
That’s what Ali did.
And that’s why he’s the greatest.