What Is Impossible

A few minutes ago I read about a woman who has 6 children, 35 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren and 10 great, greatgrandchildren—who jumped from an airplane to celebrate her ninety-third birthday. That's a woman who thinks big.

I believe in the impossible. I think you can have, do, or be anything you can imagine. That's the subject of one of my earlier books, titled The Attractor Factor. It's also, for the most part, the way I live my life.

I love to think big. I also love to read about people who set "impossible" goals, and then achieve them. Whether it's Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile, NASA sending a man to the moon, Bruce Barton writing a fundraising letter that pulls a 100% response, or a 93-year-old woman skydiving, all of it proves we have no known limits. None.

What we have, instead, are mind-sets, or mental models. Yoram Wind and Colin Crook, writing in their mind expanding book, The Power of Impossible Thinking, declare, "Mental models shape every aspect of our lives."

For example, I am currently reading C.K. Prahalad's book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, and love the true stories of people and companies helping the poor in places like Brazil and India. These people are not thinking small.

For example, Aravind Eye Hospital in India grew from an 11-bed facility to the largest eye care facility in the world. They see over 1.4 million patients and perform over 200,000 sight-restoring surgeries each year. Two-thirds of their patients are served at no cost, and those who pay, pay an average of just $75. The hospital was modeled on the management style of McDonald's—only it gives fast care for low (or no) money.

Here's another example:

Casas Bahia grew from one man selling blankets and bed linens door-to-door to the largest retail chain in Brazil. They sell electronics, appliances, and furniture. With its emphasis on serving the poor customer, its low prices and credit determined by payment history rather than formal income—70% of Casas Bahia customers have no formal or consistent income—Casas Bahia grosses over US $1 billion and has invoked total loyalty in its customers.

I feel most of us don't think big enough. Not even close. To help s-t-r-e-t-c-h your mind, read Prahalad's book just mentioned and read The Power of Impossible Thinking by Wind and Crook.

Wind and Crook explain that our mental models of the world are what stop us or help us. Thinking there is no profit in helping the poor is a limited mental model. The people in Prahalad's book have moved beyond limited thinking.

With all of this in mind, what do you want to accomplish from studying this material? What's your "impossible" dream? What would you want, if you knew you could not fail? Whatever it is, write it down here:

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