Yes, you can achieve the "impossible".
Your beliefs, not your abilities, are often what hold you back.
Yesterday, I ran my first half-marathon without any prior training.
In under 24h hours, I went from not having worked out in months to running in the mountains under the sun for a solid two hours. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone because it could lead to injuries, but I think the mindset I gained can be applied to other parts of life.
Here are some lessons I learned from tackling a challenge I thought was impossible.
Choose friends who motivate you over those who just agree with you. It might be uncomfortable when they don't accept your excuses, but that's what helps you grow. "Yes" friends who are always "nice" won't push you beyond your limits. Had I been on my own, I would have probably given up much sooner. Because I was with a highly disciplined friend, I had no alternative!
As Derek Sivers, an entrepreneur and author I look up to, said, "The standard pace is for chumps". Just because you're told it takes months or years to achieve something doesn't mean it's true. Society is designed for average people who want to stay average, but you can learn faster and achieve much more if you believe in yourself.
The idea that the 4-minute mile was impossible was shattered once someone achieved it. After that, thousands of people achieved it each year. It was a mental barrier, not a physical one. The mind gives up before the body. Your beliefs, not your abilities, are often what hold you back.
Instead of doubling the time you think something will take, try cutting it in half as an experiment. Set a deadline and find someone to hold you accountable. This perfectly aligns with Parkinson's law, which states that work expands to fit the time available. You can try finishing off that project or training for that race in two weeks instead of four!
Below is a picture of my friend and I after finishing the half-marathon. We enjoyed a healthy meal by the beach, appreciating the small pleasures earned through hard work. The meal tasted even better because of the challenging run before it. If we had just gone for a meal without the run, it wouldn't have been nearly as satisfying.
Great love and respect,