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How to Make the Impossible Possible

Tradeoffs should be actively chosen, not assumed.

Pamela J. Hobart
Pamela J. Hobart
2 min read
How to Make the Impossible Possible

Some things are just plain impossible - logically impossible, or impossible due to the laws of nature.

Try as you might, you just can’t make 2+2=5, guys.

But many of the things we privately consider impossible - earning a certain amount of money, assuming responsibility for dependents like pets or kids, changing our eating habits or fitness practices, even just reading more - are "impossible" only in a limited sense.

These quasi-impossibilities are impossible only when you take the rest of your life as being fixed.

You can't earn $x... without more experience/relevant education

You can't get a dog... without coming home a little earlier on the weekends.

You can't eat better... unless you prepare food ahead of time and follow through on eating it.

You can't read more... unless you watch television less.

Here's my tweet that grew into this post:

It does really seem impossible to take care of a bunch of kids... if, at the same time, you're committed to feeding them only organic food cooked from scratch at home each day.

It does really seem impossible to read more, if you keep your head in the sand about where your free time is really going now.

Tradeoffs are "a balance achieved between two desirable but incompatible features."

More of something, less of another thing.

I don't know which tradeoffs are the best for you to make.

(I hardly make my own tradeoffs properly, tbh).

But I do know that you can have more capacity for thing B if you first shrink thing A down to size.

Which of the things you might want in life are genuinely impossible?

Which are you choosing to make impossible?

When you actively choose tradeoffs instead of assuming them or drifting into them, you'll be more satisfied with those tradeoffs now — and they'll be easier to adjust, when necessary.

Pamela J. Hobart Twitter

Philosophical Life Coaching in Austin, TX. Also mother of 3, Miata driver, and DIY manicure aficionado.