To Dream the Impossible Dream!

I have learned to use the word impossible with the utmost caution Werner von Braun

What makes a goal or task impossible? Fear? Difficult Odds?

I love a quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It says, “When God works through us, No one and Nothing can stand against us.”

I have several “impossible goals”. I don’t know how long it will take to accomplish them but accomplish them I will. I know this not because I believe that I am smarter than anyone else or more talented than anyone else – I know this because I know that I am being guided in these goals by God.

I don’t know all that there is to know but I do know that God has guided me before and with that guidance, I have done things that others considered impossible. Therefore, I believe in His ability to guide me to do the impossible any and every time I feel a task from God in my heart.

Are you listening to your heart? I hope that you realize that your heart needs to be listened to! I also hope you know that God knows you best and He knows what will bring you abundance and joy much better than you do!

I hope as you read today’s inspirational story that you will listen to your heart and what it is telling you! Enjoy!

When Your Goal Is the Impossible by Dan Pallotta 

(Written in 2010)

I’m writing this because a plane carrying an Uruguayan rugby team went down in the Andes mountains 38 years ago.

Twenty-one years later Frank Marshall made a movie called Alive based on the story. The film brings to life the experiences of 29 people who survived the crash and struggled to remain alive in the snow and freezing temperatures of the Andes for three interminably long months. An avalanche takes the lives of eight of them one morning. Five others die from their injuries and exposure during the ordeal. After learning by radio that efforts to find them had been called off, two of the survivors set out on an impossible odyssey to breach the Andes and send a rescue team back.

At one point during their quest one of them calls to his friend, “Come up here, man, you’ve got to see this, it’s beautiful.” The audience thinks he sees civilization. The camera pans to his view to show a nauseating infinity of snow-capped mountain peaks. No end in sight.

His friend says, “We’re going to die up here.” And the other replies, “Do you know what it is that we made it this far? It’s impossible, that’s what it is. If we’re going to die, we’re going to die walking.”

They breach the Andes. They find their way to the green valleys of Chile and make contact with the outside world. The closing scene of the film is of the survivors hearing helicopter engines and then seeing the choppers come into full view, with the two friends that saved them waving from inside.

The credits rolled and I couldn’t stop crying.

For two years before I saw the film, I’d had this idea for a 600-mile bicycle ride to raise money for AIDS but was too intimidated to do anything about it. Walking out of the theater, some voice that didn’t seem entirely mine said, “That’s it, we’re going to build the AIDS Ride.” And the next day my staff and I began trying to figure out how to get 500 people to bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It seemed impossible at the time. It hadn’t been done before. But a little over a year later, 478 heroic people of all shapes and sizes, most of whom hadn’t been on a bike in years, finished the 600-mile journey, netting a million dollars for AIDS.

As we rode into West Hollywood together, I couldn’t stop crying.

I would cry at dozens of these kinds of closing ceremonies over the years as tens of thousands of average people completed long journeys after raising large sums of money for urgent causes — both things they never thought they could accomplish when they started.

In a great documentary on the Apollo program, Eugene Kranz, the flight director of all those missions, reminisces about what had been accomplished during that unique period in American history.

He couldn’t stop crying.

I’m typing this week’s post on my new iPad 3G — truly a marvel of imagination, technology, and tenacity. It’s amazing not just because of the technology itself, but because of all the work building partnerships over the years that went into making it what it is — the negotiations with record labels and movie makers that made iTunes possible, enrolling Time magazine and countless others in its promise, and the nurturing of the network of app developers that helped make the thing the mind-boggling device that it is. Now, Steve Jobs was thrown out of the company he created. He has waged a fierce battle for his life against pancreatic cancer. He has stared deeply into the abyss of despair one feels when their dreams have been crushed and seem to be gone forever. I may be wrong, but I have to believe that at some point, using his own iPad and measuring the true distance he had come to make it real, Steve Jobs must have found himself crying.

As a mentor of mine reminds me, human beings are unique in our ability to achieve the impossible. Elephants don’t do it. Gorillas don’t. Mice don’t. We humans live in a world where everything falls but we say, let’s make things fly. The crying that ensues is an outgrowth of self-actualization. It is the profundity of experiencing the full depth of our human potential and it is unspeakably beautiful.

On the AIDS Rides we had a phrase for it: I’mpossible.

In my office, I keep two books out where I can see them: Inferno, James Nachtwey’s horrific and heartbreaking photo documentations on the effects of genocide, AIDS, and starvation on nameless and forgotten human beings all around the world, and Full Moon, a collection of high-resolution Hasselblad images from the Apollo lunar missions.

The Nachtwey book makes me think of eradicating hunger in our lifetime — a task that seems impossible. The NASA book reminds me of one of the most impossible things humanity ever accomplished.

And they both make me cry.

No matter what you are trying to do, whether in business or charity or social enterprise, if the thought of it doesn’t scare the hell out of you — and if imagining the manifestation of it doesn’t make you cry — it isn’t worthy of who you truly are.

Today’s inspirational story is shared from the following website: https://hbr.org/2010/05/when-your-goal-is-the-impossib.html

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Setting Goals…A Lifetime Pursuit

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark Michelangelo

Setting goals and making a consistent effort to improve is so very important. What is not important is for your goals to look good to someone else.

My goal of overcoming my fear of snakes may not make sense to you. Your goal of learning to scuba dive may not enthrall me. It doesn’t matter that we woo others with our personal growth. What does matter is that we utilize the precious time we are given for this mortal experience in uplifting, personal growing ways!

I know that the desires that are implanted within our hearts need to be paid attention to. They speak to us of overcoming challenges and manifesting the divine role we are meant to have in this world. Those desires tell us things about ourselves that we may not yet know about ourselves. We may be a Grandma Moses or Colonel Sanders in the making…. However, it is more likely that we have a life mission that is unlike anyone else.

Our life mission may manifest itself early in life or, like Grandma Moses and Colonel Sanders, it may take many years to present itself to the world.

There are a lot of uncertainties when it comes to fulfilling our eternal destiny. What is not uncertain is that we each have one and that there is no such thing as a inconsequential life.

We each have a way in which we are meant to leave a positive mark on this world in which we live. The only way that we are going to accomplish that feat is to listen and trust our heart and then set goals. Once those goals are made, we need to work to accomplish them with an unrelenting resilience. (What my dad used to call being “determined to the extreme”.

Today, I share a brief synopsis of the life of Christopher Reeve. I am quite certain that Christopher Reeve inspired others more with the way in which he chose to live his life after his accident than through his screen role of playing superman. The way in which he chose to conduct himself and work to help others was truly the effort worthy of a super hero! I hope you will enjoy!

Christopher Reeve

The man who played Superman becoming a quadriplegic was more than ironic – it was tragic. He never learned to be happy about his situation – who could? But, he did learn to live with it.

“In the morning, I need twenty minutes to cry. To wake up and make that shift, you know, and to just say, ‘This really sucks,’ to really allow yourself the feeling of loss. It still needs to be acknowledged.” – Christopher Reeve

Then, he’d say, “And now…forward!”

He had to take a moment everyday to acknowledge where he was, what the reality of the situation was. But, he didn’t allow that to stop him. He traveled widely doing public speaking on behalf of people with spinal injuries, tirelessly raised money for his own and other foundations, and even became a movie director. He took what he had and tried to help others in the best way he could.

Story shared from the following website: https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/failing-forward-7-stories-of-success-through-failure

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Aspirations…The Possibilities are Amazing!

 

IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL IT’S DONE Nelson Mandela

Aspirations and Dreams – the stuff of joy, happiness, and creating a meaningful life!

Those things that light up our soul with excitement and wonderment are those things that we need to pay attention to!

Do you love reading books about things that make others yawn? It doesn’t matter that the subjects that excite you bore others. What matters is that you pay attention to the things that your heart naturally gravitates to!

You are meant to do wonderful things with your life! That doesn’t mean you are meant to be world famous or rich – it means that you are meant to make your own important and substantial contribution to this world in a way that you and only you are meant to manifest it.

God knows you. He knows your heart and He knows your capacity and your strengths and your noble passions better than anyone and He wants you to accomplish those inspired dreams that dwell within your heart!

Remember…anything is possible when you open your heart to the possibility and utilize God’s assistance in your endeavor(s)!

I hope you enjoy today’s story and that it helps you think about the opportunities that are yours! (Don’t throw them away!)

The Touchstone

When the great library of Alexandria burned, the story goes, one book was saved. But it was not a valuable book; and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers.
The book wasn’t very interesting, but between its pages there was something very interesting indeed. It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the “Touchstone”!

The touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold. The writing explained that it was lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles that looked exactly like it. But the secret was this: The real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold.

So the man sold his few belongings, bought some simple supplies, camped on the seashore, and began testing pebbles.

He knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again because they were cold, he might pick up the same pebble hundreds of times. So, when he felt one that was cold, he threw it into the sea. He spent a whole day doing this but none of them was the touchstone. Yet he went on and on this way. Pick up a pebble. Cold – throw it into the sea. Pick up another. Throw it into the sea.

The days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months. One day, however, about mid afternoon, he picked up a pebble and it was warm. He threw it into the sea before he realized what he had done. He had formed such a strong habit of throwing each pebble into the sea that when the one he wanted came along, he still threw it away.

So it is with opportunity. Unless we are vigilant, it’s asy to fail to recognize an opportunity when it is in hand and it’s just as easy to throw it away.

– Author Unknown
Bits & Pieces, Economic Press

Today’s story shared from the following website: http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories-2.html

 

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Overcoming Adversity….Walt Disney

First, THINK. Second, BELIEVE. Third, DREAM. And finally, DARE Walt Disney

Most of the world’s most influential people have been individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Many of them have had little formal education. This tells me that in the quest to create a meaningful life, we cannot expect to be handed our goals on a silver platter nor can we expect automatic success to be found within the walls of a university.

I believe in being an autodidact.  What that means is being a person who seeks after learning and knowledge – in whatever form that needs to express itself.

I have never come across an inspirational life story that does not include an individual who, no matter their education and circumstances, was an autodidact.

Walt Disney is one of my favorite people to study. I love his work. I love his work ethic. I love his love for family and for good, wholesome entertainment!

Do you have a dream? Do you ponder on it? Believe that you can accomplish it? Dream about it? I hope that you do!

If you need a little nudge to move you forward on accomplishing your dream, I hope you will find inspiration by reading today’s story!

Overcoming Obstacles: Hard Work and Persistence Paid Off For Walt Disney

There are few who have had as enormous an impact on our culture and entertainment as Walt Disney. As co-creator of Mickey Mouse he helped to create the most popular and well-known cartoon character in the world. As the founder of Walt Disney Studios, he was an artist who changed animation and film-making forever and has been delighting and inspiring audiences for nearly 100 years. And, of course, when he brought us Disneyland he created a place unlike any other, one that still thrills the imaginations of children and adults today.

But the road to this kind of success and influence wasn’t easy, and it couldn’t have happened without Disney’s ceaseless hard work and unwavering belief in his dreams. Disney faced numerous obstacles—he was put to work at just nine years old, had only an eighth-grade education and almost no formal training in art, and suffered multiple business setbacks. However, he saw these not as failings but as the things that helped to make him the great visionary and businessman he became.

An Entrepreneurial Spirit

According to Michael Barrier’s biography, The Animated Man: A Life of Walt DisneyWalt Disney by Neil Gabler, and other sources:

Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 5, 1901, the fourth of Elias and Flora Call Disney’s five children. The Disney family was ambitious and entrepreneurial, if not always successful, traits that Walt would inherit. His great-grandfather, Arundel Elias Disney, had emigrated from Ireland to Ontario, Canada. His grandfather, Kepple Disney, left his wife and children to join an oil crew, but ultimately failed to strike oil. Later, Kepple and 18-year-old Elias Disney, Walt’s father, set out for the Gold Rush in California, but made it only as far as Kansas before settling. The family later moved to Florida, where Elias married Flora Call. He purchased an orange grove, only to have a freeze kill the entire crop. According to relatives, “Elias was very much like his father; he couldn’t be contented very long in any one place.”

Elias’ restlessness took him next to Chicago, where he worked as a carpenter, earning a dollar a day. Seeking a safer environment than the family’s rough neighborhood, he purchased a farm and moved the family to the small, but busy railroad town of Marceline, Missouri, in 1906. Walt and Roy, the two younger Disney boys, would later express fond memories of growing up on this “very cute, sweet little farm,” surrounded by orchards and animals, as well as for the bustling little town.

For the first years of his life, Walt enjoyed “leisure time” on the farm, and often visited his “pals,” “Doc” Sherwood and “Grandpa” Taylor, two neighbors in their 70s. Along with his grandmother and aunt, these men were among the first to encourage Walt’s artistic abilities. In 1908, a school opened in Marceline, but Walt wouldn’t begin to attend until 1909, when, at eight years old, he and his six-year-old sister Ruth started school together.

But idyllic life on the farm would soon come to an end. In 1910, Elias became ill with typhoid fever and pneumonia, and subsequently sold the farm. The family moved into town, then to Kansas City, where Walt, despite having already completed second grade in Marceline, was forced to take the grade over. It was here too, that at nine years old, Walt’s free time came to an end.

No ‘Knack for Business’

In 1911, Elias purchased a Kansas City Star delivery route, and Walt and Roy were put to work. Morning, afternoon, and weekends, Elias, Walt and Roy would make their deliveries.

Of this time, Walt would later remember: “When I was nine, my brother Roy and I were already businessmen. We had a newspaper route…delivering papers in a residence (sic) area every morning and evening of the year, rain, shine, or snow. We got up at 4:30 a.m., worked until the school bell rang and did the same thing again from four o’clock in the afternoon until supper time. Often I dozed at my desk, and my report card told the story.” If you’ve seen the film Saving Mr. Banks, you might remember Disney, played by Tom Hanks, reflecting on this period.

Walt continued to deliver papers for Elias for six more years. As the route grew, Elias hired other boys to help, paying them a few dollars a week, but refused to pay his son, insisting it was part of his job as a member of the family. So Walt, already a young entrepreneur, began looking for ways to make his own money, first by making deliveries for a local drugstore while on his regular route, later by ordering extra papers to sell himself, behind Elias’ back.

At ten, Walt opened a stand selling soda one summer with a neighbor boy, but “drank up all the profits.” Later he drew caricatures of customers for a local barber in exchange for free haircuts. While in Kansas City, he also took children’s art classes for “two winters, three nights a week” from the Fine Arts Institute.

In 1917, Walt and his sister, Ruth, graduated from the seventh grade. Shortly after, Elias, who had sold the paper route a few months prior, moved with Flora and Ruth to Chicago to work for a jelly company he had invested in. Walt stayed behind, working for the new owner of the route and living with his older brothers. Not yet 16, he lied about his age and began working alongside his brother Roy as a “news butcher” selling concessions on the trains that passed through Kansas City.

On his own for the first time, he admitted he didn’t fare well. Customers and coworkers alike played jokes on him. Not having learned from the soda stand experience, he often ate the candy bars he was supposed to be selling and by the time summer ended he was in debt to his employer. Years later, Roy said that “he’d come in and he couldn’t account for all that merchandise he took out so he’d run into a loss and who do you think paid his losses?… He was always that way. He never had any knack for business.”

At the end of the summer, Walt joined his parents in Chicago and enrolled in the eighth grade, taking art classes three nights a week at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and contributing cartoons to the high school’s monthly magazine. Aside from his childhood art classes, this was his only formal art instruction. He worked a variety of jobs, at the factory his father was part owner of, and at the Chicago post office as a mail sorter and substitute carrier, a job he again landed by lying about his age. Always a hard worker, he would seek out more work at the post office after his shift ended, before heading to another job loading trains.

Hoping to join the Army, he dropped out of school at 16. He was rejected, so instead he (again) lied about his age in order to join the American Ambulance Corps. But after falling ill for weeks during the Great Flu epidemic, he didn’t land in France until after World War I had ended, though he stayed for a year as an ambulance driver before returning to Chicago in 1919.

A Self-Taught Artist

While in France he earned money drawing cartoons and caricatures for the men he served with, and drew and submitted cartoons to humor magazines, though all were rejected. Upon returning to the United States he landed a job as an apprentice at a commercial art studio, based on the samples he’d drawn in France, but the job lasted less than a month before he was laid off. Undeterred, he began working on samples and went into business for himself, founding a company called Iwerks-Disney with Ub Iwerks, a colleague who had also been laid off. Shortly after, he left for a job as an animator for Kansas City Film Ad Company, which produced short advertisements for movie theaters.

Animation intrigued Disney, so he set out to learn more. “I gained my first information on animation from a book, which I procured from the Kansas City Public Library,” he said. Gradually, Disney made improvements at the company based on what he had learned. Eventually he convinced his boss to let him borrow an old camera so he could experiment at home, setting up shop in his father’s garage.

He continued to learn and experiment late at night after work and began to make his first films. He named his first film Newman Laugh-O-grams, after a local theater. He took the reel to Newman Theatre in an effort to sell his films, but was so nervous about his first meeting with the theater manager that when asked about the cost of the reel, he blurted out his own costs and ended up making films for the theater at no profit.

Still, he continued working at night, producing one Laugh-O-gram a week while working his day job. Eventually he saved enough to buy a camera and rent a studio. His shop grew, and he produced several longer films but was unable to keep the company afloat. Laugh-O-gram Films went bankrupt in 1923 and at 21, Disney left for Southern California with $40 in his pocket.

A Move to Hollywood

Unable to find the work he wanted as a director, he soon founded Disney Bros. Studio in Hollywood along with his brother, Roy. After some success, and more setbacks, Disney—working again with cartoonist Ub Iwerks who adapted his initial sketches—developed the character of Mickey Mouse (then called Mortimer) and began producing the first Mickey cartoons. After failing to find a distributor for the first two films, they added sound to the third, Steamboat Willie, found a distributor and before long Mickey Mouse surpassed Felix the Cat to become the world’s most popular cartoon character.

Disney had success with Mickey and his two subsequent cartoon series, receiving his first Academy Award. But he had bigger plans for the newly renamed and expanded Walt Disney Studios. He began work on a full-length animated feature film based on the fairy tale “Snow White;” a move dubbed “Disney’s Folly” by those in the film industry who were convinced it would destroy the company.

His wife, Lillian, and brother, Roy both tried to talk him out of it but Disney pushed forward with the project. He experimented with realistic animation, developed special effects and new processes and techniques all in pursuit of a film that would meet with his expectations. Production started on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1934 and continued for three years before the studio ran out of money. Disney was able to get a loan to finish the film by screening a rough cut, and the film was finally released in February 1938. It became the most successful film of the year and earned $8 million, the equivalent of about $134,033,100 today.

Snow White launched what would be known as Disney’s “Golden Age,” winning him a full size Oscar and seven miniature ones, and allowed him to build a new studio in Burbank, California. The new studio opened in late 1939, with animation staff already hard at work on PinocchioFantasia, Bambi, Alice in Wonderland, andPeter Pan and work continuing on cartoon series featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.

In the late 1940s, Disney began working on ideas for a children’s theme park, an idea he would spend the next five years developing. When funding proved difficult to find, he found new ways of fundraising, broadcasting a show called Disneyland on a then-new network called ABC in return for help financing the park. In 1955, he finally opened Disneyland, and dedicated the park on live television saying:

“To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past … and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America … with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

What we can learn from Walt Disney

On learning and education:

Disney’s formal education ended in the eighth grade, and his education up to that point was often interrupted. Some have suggested that the many jobs Disney held and his struggle in school was due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and he is often included on lists of famous people with ADHD. However, there’s little credible evidence to suggest that this is true. It’s more likely that his poor performance in school was due to being forced to needlessly repeat a grade, being pulled out to work, and being so tired from working for his father that he often fell asleep in class.

Despite his lack of formal education, Disney never stopped learning: reading, teaching himself animation, tirelessly experimenting and working to improve his craft. He showed that it’s possible to be successful despite following a different path from the expected one, or through alternatives to college, like the apprenticeship he took.

But he knew, too, the value of learning from others’ expertise saying:

“All you’ve got to do is own up to your ignorance honestly, and you’ll find people who are eager to fill your head with information.”

Today’s story shared from the following website: http://www.learningliftoff.com/overcoming-obstacles-hard-work-and-persistence-paid-off-for-walt-disney/#.WT78z8bMxBx

 

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Goals…Those Who Accomplish the Most

Those who accomplish the most in this world are those with a vision for their lives, with goals  to keep them focused on  their vision and tactical  plans for how to achieve them    M Russell Ballard

I have learned a lot about goals recently. I have come to realize that there is much that I need(ed) to learn about goals.

I believe that I have accomplished some good things in my lifetime but I can now see that I will be more effective in doing much more good with my life by setting strong goals, being committed to them, and by being willing to make the necessary sacrifices that are often a part of accomplishing goals.

Goals are a powerful tool and they increase and focus our vision!

I hope you enjoy today’s story! I think I am going to set a goal of being more like a beaver!

The Beaver And His Goals

Author: Catherine Pulsifer

It started last fall when we had a beaver move in the small stream beside our house. He immediately began taking down small trees, and within a couple of weeks our small stream turned into a small pond. Everyday he added more to his damn and to his house.

The Saying Is True
We’re sure you’ve all heard the inspirational saying, “busy as a beaver”, well now we appreciate this saying as we saw the work that this beaver did over a very short period of time.

The Damn Completed
With the stream now damned and his house built, we thought that would be the last of the beaver’s busy activity as winter set in. But, to our amazement, he started chewing on a very large maple tree. And, we mean large. The tree is over 60 feet tall and is approximately five feet in diameter at the base. We were amazed at the challenge this beaver was attempting. Over the winter, he would come out and chew a bit more. He had setbacks as we faced major winter storms and freezing weather. We thought that he will never chew through this tree. But sure enough, when the weather allowed, he kept coming back and would chew a bit more.

With spring finally arriving, we went down to see the beaver’s progress and sure enough the tree is going to come down soon!! Our beaver has now almost completely chewed around and through the entire tree.

The Beaver’s Goal
The beaver’s original goal was survival – to build a home for the winter. Working every day with that particular focus in mind, he achieved that goal. But the large maple tree he started chewing on last fall was a future goal – he wanted the large tree for the spring, to provide new food and branches to continue damning in anticipation of the spring thaw. And, even with the setbacks he faced over the winter, he never gave up.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.wow4u.com/beaver-goal/

 

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