Written by Scott Dinsmore –  Follow me on Twitter.

Be Impossible

“I once did something impossible. Since then, it’s been easy.”

~A kid who didn’t know any better…

Yesterday morning I swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco.

Just before jumping in, I sat on the boat a little nervous. The water was about 55 degrees and we had around 1.4 miles to swim.

My friend Jonathan gave me a couple words of encouragement and then he jumped in. I suddenly felt a bit more at ease.

Jonathan is 13 years old. This is his third year doing the swim. And the next day he swam across the Golden Gate bridge. Of the 75 people swimming, about 50 were between 9 and 13 years old.

The goal of the event is simple: escape limitations and expand what’s possible.

When you escape from Alcatraz at 11 years old, your reality suddenly starts to change.

Think of how differently you would have approached life if you had swam 1.4 miles across the 50-degree San Francisco Bay before turning 12? Seriously take a minute and think about that. How many invitations and challenges would you have said yes to? What things would you have tried (and likely accomplished)? Would you be where you are right now? Would you be working a job you didn’t love or complaining about a body you weren’t proud of?

I doubt it.

I used to be as guilty as any. If you would have told me two years ago that a 10-year old was going to swim from Alcatraz, I would have said he was going to drown.

I would have been wrong.

I hear things all the time that seem unreal. We all do. But I’ve seen too many ‘miracles’ happen to take them for granted. Now my natural reaction to impossible suggestions is to find out rather than assume.

As a child I thought a two-hour hike was all I had in me until my parents sent me to a 14-day Outward Bound. I used to think I couldn’t go a meal without meat until I went vegan for a week – I now eat 90% plants. I used to think an ultramarathon was beyond me, until I tried. I used to think it was impossible to make a living blogging, until I became friends with the guys doing it.

Go witness the impossible

The easiest things to witness are physical feats. Our minds like things with clear finish lines and race times that we can witness with our own eyes.

Granted, the biggest life accomplishments aren’t as easy for spectators to see–marrying your soulmate, having a child, building your dream business or having five friends who would do anything for you. These take time for outsiders to notice. I do my best to constantly spend time around these people both to expand my own limits and to document their stories for all of you.

The more people we can see living their dreams and doing the impossible, the more likely we are to attempt them. If the ten people I spend most my time around have sucessful lifestyle businesses, then all of a sudden that feels like the norm. It becomes possible. We are the average of our peer group.

For starters, go out this weekend and witness someone doing something you would have bet against. A foot race is the easiest place to look. They happen in most towns almost every weekend. Ideally find a marathon (since most people think they could never run one–a half or 10k will also do). Go to the finish line about 3 hours after the race starts. Bring a sandwich and find a comfortable spot to sit. Have nowhere to go. Plan to spend a couple hours. Just watch the people crossing the finish line. Notice their shape, size and age–You’ll see all sorts. Notice the look on their face. Take it in. How are they so different from you?

Go do the impossible…for you

Impossible doesn’t have to be something stupid and crazy that the world has never seen. Maybe later you’ll go for things like that, but for now all it needs to be is unchartered land for you.

Find something this week and do it. Something you’ve never done before.

Pick something small. If you’ve never run more than two miles, then go run a 5k. Don’t make a huge deal of it. Just start running. Walk a bit if you need to. Pick something you haven’t done (and maybe told yourself you couldn’t) but know you could if someone had a gun to your head (we can do almost anything given the right incentive…).

Other ideas could be giving a speech (you can drop into any Toastmasters for free), eating only vegetables for a week or writing the first chapter in your book. It doesn’t have to be physical (but that’s my favorite place to start).

Why haven’t you ever done it? Your mind never really knows something’s possible until it’s actually accomplished. But once that happens (and the more it happens), you’ll start to see things a little differently. Then a lot differently… Instead of looking for excuses you’ll find reasons. You’ll start to try more. Which means you’ll start to do more.

Limiting beliefs thrive off inaction. The more you do and try, the more empowering your beliefs will become.

Your confidence will snowball.

Make it a routine to test the impossible

Push limits. Try new things. Get outside your comfort zone.

You’ve heard them all before. Go out and do your impossible. Simple as that. Before long you’ll be addicted…and unstoppable.

Your mind will never know you can do something until you actually do it. Do it enough and you’ll give it permission to run like crazy. If you can swim from Alcatraz at 10, then who’s to say you can’t start a business at 14? No one. Except for the ones who never tried.

The only difference between those who cross the finish line and those who never start comes down to one word: Will.

As I dried off after the swim, I watched some of the other kids finishing. I saw a boy take his last stroke into shore as two people ran up and helped him out. His legs were dragging. Something looked wrong. Really wrong.

Then they plopped him down in is wheelchair. He victoriously put his fists in the air.

I’d seen him earlier that morning. I just didn’t think he planned to get in the water. Wrong assumption.

He couldn’t walk, but who says he couldn’t swim?

Most the stuff you think you can’t do, you can. Better to find out than go through life assuming the worst.

Give it a try. I bet you’ll be surprised.

Haven’t ever left a comment?

Do something you’ve never done and leave a message in the comments below. Tell us your story of impossible or your attempt. 1,000’s of people read this site every day who never comment. Add to the community. We all appreciate it.

  • http://www.drewdagostino.com Drew D’Agostino

    I don’t have that epic ‘impossible’ story yet. There are a few things though that may be relatable – I have fasted for 3 days when I didn’t think I would survive one. I also once ran 20 miles when I went out intending to run 5 (almost died afterword :).

    I’m really interested to see what kinds of experiences people share here. Hoping to get some ideas for the next year. I’ll be starting with my first solo international trip next week; not tremendously impossible by any stretch of the imagination, but a step nonetheless.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      That list is epic as it is drew! As long as you thought you couldn’t do it, that’s all that matters. Let us know how the travels come along!

  • http://www.kirajones.co.uk/blog Kira Withers-Jones

    Ok, so I haven’t left a comment on this site before, but I have started to push myself to do things I haven’t done before. At Christmas I could only walk 1 mile before being exhausted (I’ve had Chronic Fatigue) but I’ve been getting out of the house and walking regularly so now I can walk just over 4 miles. I’m being inspired by my husband, who’s just signed up to run his first half-marathon, and my brother-in-law, who completed the London Marathon on Sunday. I’d like to set myself a goal of walking up Snowdon (the tallest mountain in Wales) and maybe walking the great wall of China sometime in the next couple of years as well. That would really proved that I’d beaten the fatigue and taken charge of my body.

    I’ve also recently helped to make a video on mental illness that will be shown to our government ministers. That was scary but I pushed myself to do it because I knew that it was important. I’m very much at the start of my journey but I’m starting to live what you’re advocating.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      I love it Kira! Walking the Great Wall sounds worthy of anyone’s list :). Might have to add it to mine. Congrats on all the progress!

  • http://careared.com/ Careared

    Great post. I’ve never been a risk-taker, but when I found myself in a job that was making me miserable and stunting my growth as a person (I was a lawyer at a law firm), I had to step out of my comfort zone a bit. I quit my job without a definite “Plan B.” Some people thought I was crazy to turn my back on a lucrative career, but it was the most freeing thing I’ve done. I’m training for a marathon now. Definitely a challenge, but a hell of a lot easier than pushing myself every day to return to a job I hated.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      That is the most powerful decision you can make. I know how hard it can be. Hat’s off! Would love to hear what the next project is!

  • http://www.perfectingparenthood.com Perfecting Parenthood

    This is right on. Like you said, the first marathon I ever did was my big impossible thing. I was convinced that you needed a certain kind of genetics to be able to run that far because I nearly crapped myself after only 5 miles. Then my 50 year old pot-bellied buddy asked me if we should do one together. I told him he was NUTS! Then he told me he’d already ran four marathons. Wholly cow! So he told me what to do — which was really easy, and I ran my first about five months later. Since then I’ve run one or two every year, so I’m up around eight now. That was eye-opening. Something I though I could never do turned out to be easy.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      That’s awesome. I’m inspired to do more running after hearing it. Isn’t it wild how once you do it once, then it almost seems easy?!

  • http://www.authenticstyle.co.uk Will

    Just wanted to say great article and very well written.

    I feel inspired to do something amazing now! :)

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Go do it and report back! Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.advancehumanity.com Travis Hellstrom

    Great article! I’m finishing my third year with the Peace Corps in Mongolia and after this I want to try my hand at writing more professionally. I’ve written one book, but I’d like to finish two more by next year. : )

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Have one book down is a hell of a place to be. You gotta share the title with us. Peace Corps sounds unreal. I’ve always been curious about that. Would love to hear a bit more about that experience as well. I imagine the reverse culture shock will be a little tough coming back.

  • John Greathouse

    Scott – another inspiring post! Good for you. I love swimming, but 1-mile in a heated pool is more my style.

    Keep up the great work – you are helping people find a better path.


    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Thanks John! To be honest, 1 mile in a heated pool is more my style too but I figured I could make an exception once a year ;).

      Let’s both keep each other on our toes with our writing (as you’ve certainly done for me) and I know big things will continue to come!

  • http://www.thedynamiclife.com Hugh

    What a great post. The bit about the handicapped kid at the end really hit hard – I love it!

    Whenever I find myself staring down a challenge (usually physical as well), I remind my self that this isn’t something I have to do, but it’s something I GET to do. Think of these challenges as amazing opportunities and be grateful that you have the opportunity to test your limits.

    Now I need to go find something “impossible” to do!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      I love that Hugh. It’s a privilege–let’s treat it like that!

  • CC

    I met the motivator of last resort (i.e. doctor) comments last year about my health with a realization that I was at a fork in the road, if I didn’t do something, it was going to be very difficult to change paths in just a little while. I swallowed my fear and joined a CrossFit gym (where I was the oldest, most overweight and out of shape person there) – talk about being totally out of water and scared (oh and just a little bit intimidated) – I slowly started down the right road for me. I have learned how to trust myself more, push myself harder and truly celebrate the small and large milestones, while continually setting new goals & raising the bar. I started with deadlifting a pvc pipe with rebar in it to now lifing 100 lbs, from barely being able to run one block, now running a mile, from knee pushups to plank … I haven’t lost a lot of weight, but I’ve really lost the inches (that fat has been replaced with the much better and denser muscle!). It’s hard to describe what feeling better physically really means but it has colored my outlook and attitude in a contagious and positive way. Can’t say enough about finding your personal exercise outlet as a way to change your attitude!

    thanks for the great & thought provoking post!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      You found the holy grail! Huge congrats to you for taking the plunge. I have a feeling you wont look back–especially with how good it must feel to life that 100lbs! I love xfit btw. I can only imagine how much you will be able to transfer that confidence and momentum into other parts of life.


  • Bunny

    “i once did something impossible, since then its been easy.” love it, Scott!

    becoming a blogger seems impossible to me as of now. lets see if my first post will ever see the light of the day.

    you keep rocking !

    • cc

      Bunny – where’s your post/blog? I’d like to read it!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      I can’t wait to read it either Bunny. That first one will make the ones after it feel like cake. Make it happen!

  • John Beadle

    Very motivating Scott, thanks for the article. Congratulations on your swim too, that’s a huge accomplishment no matter how old you are!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Thanks my man! Just took a run out along the water and looked out at Alcatraz with a pretty awesome feeling :)

  • http://www.journeymonkeys.com JourneyMonkey

    I agree that once you do something impossible, things get easier. The Escape from Alcatraz swim is trying to make it’s way on my bucket list. :) It’ll take the place of conquering my fear of riding a bicycle by completing a triathlon that got checked of a few days ago. :)

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Love it. Do the Escape Triathlon and get em all checked off! Maybe I’ll join you :)

  • http://www.wishfulthinkingworks.com Patrice

    Joined the Peace Corps at 53, 2006-09.  Loved it. Extended for a year. Traveled Europe and Greece extensively. Became a life coach.  Have been blogging more than a year. Return to my Peace Corps country, Macedonia, annually, taking Americans for a journey of a lifetime.

    Did I think I could do it, before I did? Not so much.  Was it scary? Big time, and oh so wonderful. “… there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Winnie the Pooh

    Thanks for the reminder that our future is as exciting and fulfilling as we make it.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Inspiring story and congrats on what you’re building! We are following similar paths (although I wish Peace Corps was part of my story!). Nicely done.

  • http://www.balancingmylifeintechnology.com Abby Butts

    Starting a blog and sticking with it has definitely been out of my comfort zone. I generally do not start a project unless I know I will be successful and starting my blog was a risk. Will people like it? Will people hate it? Will anyone read what I write? As it turns out, people do like it and they do read what I write. And most importantly I have found something that I am passionate about and invested in. I also love to write which was something I didn’t know about myself until I jumped into the experience.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      I was in your exact shoes when I launched this site – and to be honest, I bet we share a lot at this point too. There really isn’t much better than being able to write and help people at the same time. I’m loving it!

  • Brittany Deal

    Scott- I found your blog recently and it has become an instant favorite. Your passion is palpable and inspiring. Keep up the good work.

    Three years ago I dove the Blue Hole in Belize. The dive is about 140 feet deep and there are reef sharks. A 14 year old girl was on my dive boat (I was 22 at the time) and although I was shaking before I jumped in the water I figured if the 14 year could do it so could I!

    Also, a year ago I convinced my company to let me take a leave of absence for 4 months so I could travel the world. It took several months to negotiate but I was able to take time off to travel at the height of the market downtown (I work in real estate) and return to my job. A year and half ago people told me I was crazy if I thought I could pull that off. Don’t ask don’t get. :)

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      So true! Your adventure sounds amazing. Last year when I was asked to do this swim for the first time, it was a 12 year old who made me say “what the f*&# do I have to lose?” Then I started swimming. It doesn’t take much. Just the right leverage.

      Nice work on creating the epic lifestyle you have!

  • http://www.booksdistilled.com Brooke

    Scott, What a great post! I’ve always thought I couldn’t run a 5K. Then I mapped the route I run once or twice a week (well, I walk a little of it), and it’s about 2.5 miles. I’m setting a new goal!

    • http://www.wishfulthinkingworks.com Patrice

      I love your comment, you were already doing it more or less!

      • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

        So awesome! Doing the impossible without even knowing it. That’s what I’m talking about!

  • http://www.thefocuseddecisionmaker.com Ash Martin

    Scott, you always give great encouragement. Thanks for inspiring us “dreamers” to transform our Want’s into Do’s.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      My pleasure Ash. It’s all about DOING! You nailed. Keep us posted on the transformation.

  • http://jonwilburn.wordpress.com Jon Wilburn

    I lost 20 lbs in 2 months recently. Epic? No, but I didn’t think I could do it … and then I tried it.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Sounds pretty freakin epic to me!!

  • Meghan

    Excellent article Scott. I’ve dropped off my training for the Army 10 Miler in October, but today I’m picking it back up. Thank you for reminding me how rewarding it is to push your limits.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Yeah!!! I bet you’ll crush it. You already have, really.

  • http://[email protected] Cris

    Hehe, I hardly ever post comments, though I’m a consumer of blogs and articles. So let me say thank you for putting this forward and reminding us to appreciate what we have and what we can do. We can do anything.

    I haven’t stepped out of my comfort zone for a while, though next Wednesday I’ll be reading out 5 mins of my own poetry to a lounge-full of poetry readers and listeners. I will be nervous. Yet, I want to do it. Nerves are part of the experience – otherwise it wouldn’t seem like something outside the comfort zone, now would it?

    Have a wonderful week, Scott :)

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Thanks for chiming in Cris. Have fun with the poetry. I actually think it’s tonight!

      This is where it starts…

  • http://www.timelenders.com Yameen

    Excellent article! and I agree with Scott. I am a trainer and coach myself from Pakistan and I really like your writings. I used to work from 9 to 5 in early days of my career and then I realized that I’ve got myself chained and not unleashing the true potential that the Almighty God has given to me. I always love to read and assist people in their issues. It lead me to public speaking, but initially it was looking impossible as I was afraid of facing people specially who are senior than me and than the negative thoughts capturing my mind all the time like if this happens or that happens…and I did not achieve anything for quite some time. After some time I realized that how can I conclude that I can’t do it unless I do it and from that day I started. I did my first presenattion with my colleagues and bosses for an hour when I was 24. It was a big failure and everybody was laughing, but that is what gave me confidence of doing it better next time and then 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th presentation… just 4 years down the road, I became one of the most admired speaker in my organization and then people and institutions started calling me for presentations. In 2004, I met my current boss, who is an excellent speaker, trainer and coach in one of his programs. He has spoken to over 40 US universities on politics and geo-politics and came back to Pakistan in 2001. He really encouraged me and I literally started public speaking and trainings at my own. Today, almost 8 years gone and I have been to this business in Pakistan and Middle East. Our organization is one of the leading training and consulting groups around and our courses are considered one of the most life changing and thought provoking ones in the region. Over 15000 people have gone through our courses from hundreds of organizations hailing over 60 countries. 9 of the Fortune 500 and 20 of the Forbes Global 2000 companies in addition to hundreds of local business groups, NGOs, government run organizations are my clients and the journey continues as we have to explore many new horizons.

    But, it all started with removing the fear of failure and doing things, which we usually think are IMPOSSIBLE! Ali (RA), a wise man in our history once said “The biggest hurdle in the way of success is the fear of failure.”

    Happy reading! and Thanks for sharing your insights.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      EPIC story Yameen!! I kept saying “no way” as I read each line or two above and then hearing the ending blew my mind. Talk about changing the world! I’m officially inspired.

      Hat’s off!

      • Kim

        I found it interesting that you were intimidated by your elders and I shrink back with those that are younger. I assume they have what it takes in the current world market, while I have been parenting for the last 15 years. (as if I learned nothing during that all important time!)

  • Gerard

    Good post. But sorry, no impossible feats just yet.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      I don’t believe it! I said impossible FOR YOU. I bet you have something. If not, go out and do it and come back and tell us about it :)

  • http://www.stopandbreathe.com Jason @ Stop & Breathe

    Congratulations on your swim and thank you for taking the time to write such a powerful post.

    When I hear of people accomplishing incredible feats, I believe it is their committment that is the greatest accomplishment. Not the final act in and of itself.

    The day I decided to do an Ironman triathlon I weighted 250lbs and was terrible out of shape. I had no idea how I’d do it, but I was determined to find a way. Three years, two leg operations, one spinal fusion and 80 lbs of weight loss later I crossed the finish line of my first Ironman. I’m currently training to race in #3 this July.

    After the race people told me how inspired they were by my accomplishment. I honestly didn’t understand why. In my opinion, anyone could have done it had they just committed to the training. But that’s the catch. While I think people are impressed by the final act in and of itself, whether they realize it or not, I think they’re most impressed by the commitment it took to get to the starting line in the first place.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      I think this is exactly what I needed to sign up for my first Iron Man. It’s been on my ‘tentative’ list for a while. It’s probably about time to sack up. Thanks Jason!

  • Liam’s Dad

    Great post Scott (and great blog!) I signed up for a 56mile (90Km) cycle from London to Brighton in June, its in aid of a charity so that was a good incentive, but I knew I still needed to get out there and build up to it, fitting in training around work and other commitments (amazing how you can find the time if you need to), and energy snowballs.

    My first step was telling people this is what i’m going to do, which was scary but started my momentum, then I invited a group of friends to join me and the response has been over whelming, so many people wanting to do something but don’t know where to start!

    We now do regular training rides, covering distances I never dreamed of before, its also nice to meet with friends and do something rewarding not just meeting for beers or sitting around.

    All I keep thinking is what next? What else did I think was beyond my limit or ability? I know i’m going to enjoy finding out!

    Thanks Scott all the best to u and your readers for 2011 and beyond!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Love it! Huge accomplishment. Isn’t it crazy how powerful the snowball can be?? And finding much healthier and more empowering things to do with good friends is a killer place to be. A catch run beats the crap out of a catch up beer.

  • Katie

    Scott – I think this article FINALLY made me take action, thank you! Here’s my impossible: I’ve been to Kolkata, India for work twice since December. The poverty is terrible and unfortuntaely it’s around every corner – you can’t escape it. Instead of pretending I can’t help because I live on the other side of the world, I want to do something, anything. My solution? Shoe drive here in SF/my house. I’ll send a suitcase of shoes with my co-worker who’s returning to Kolkata in 5 weeks (since my 3rd trip was cancelled). I did a quick search online, but it’s difficult to find a “donation” spot in Kolkata, India. Shot in the dark, but do you know of anyone who may know someone? I’m trying to get these shoes into the right hands for distribution.

    Again, thank you Scott, keep up the good work!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      The people to contact are at TOMs Shoes. I bet they can sort it out. I did a little yoga with Blake who started the company a while back and his vision is unreal. I would just call those guys up and start asking.

      I LOVE that this got you to take action. That’s the only reason I write these you know. It’s not about reading. It’s about doing!


  • http://www.creativelycreatingmycreation.wordpress.com andrea

    A very inspiring blog. These days I’m in the second draft of the editing process of my memoir and I’m a first time author. I’m taking a risk from leaving a permanent job with great benefits to pursue my dream as a writer.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      YES! I can relate big time. Congrats on getting started!! Let us know when it’s completed. You’ll be my motivation to start thinking about print :)

  • anjali

    I loved today’s article, actually I look forward to your email every week…..but as you said never left a comment here so doing something that I havent ever done before to tell you how inspiring and amazing your blog is…

    thank you!

    my impossible story is that i am finally taking a trip with my friends to europe after graduating!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Thanks for taking the leap! So stoked about your trip to. Europe will change your life. Seriously!

  • http://www.lifeforinstance.com Lori Gosselin

    Hi Scott,
    This was very inspiring! Makes me want to watch that movie, Escape from Alcatraz again! You’ve got a lot of positive energy, not just the physical kind, though you seem to have that too. Now I’m wondering what I might like to do to challenge myself, as if starting a blog weren’t enough LOL.

    Oh, yeah, I guess there is something new I’ll be doing – soon – finding a publisher for my book! Does that count?

    I’m putting you in my fav blogs folder!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Fav blog folder! Well thank you :).

      I’d say publishing a book tops the charts!!

  • http://www.dailyintent.com Jeff Bochsler


    Great finish to an inspiring article! We are all more incredible than we give ourselves credit! And there is no better place to see this than the finish of a marathon. What I would give to be sitting at the finish line of San Diego, San Francisco, Arizona, or Boston’s marathons right now.

    The only item I would add, perhaps a great follow-up article, is on the topic of one’s undulating emotions amidst completing the impossible. It is not always gravy. Coaching hundreds of marathon runners in the past, I noticed all go through the full gamut of emotions. From nervous, to thrilled, to hurting, to emotionless, to happy, to reflective, to interactive, to questioning why in heck they are doing this (Seriously, 16 miles left?!), to crossing the finish line and never being more proud, more relieved, and, most importantly, more confident they can do anything. They are on top of the world.

    The flow of emotions is part of the journey. We grow in every stage. It starts with signing up for the impossible. It continues with enduring the emotional roller coaster. It ends with a renewed confidence, understanding and belief in oneself.

    I’m signing up for hanging out with monkeys for a week. Yes, the life of Jane Goodall for 7 days in the jungle of Ecuador. Though it doesn’t look to be a physical challenge, it looks to offer an experience seemingly impossible to me 2 years ago. I plan on learning plenty about animals, nature and my inner-self.

    Keep inspiring me and others. I’ll be on the train as long as your conducting.


    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Ha ha! Let the conducting continue my man!

      You make a great point and I have a feeling you would be much more qualified to cover that topic than me. A much overdo in person chat needs to happen when you get back. I need to pick your brain on this a bit more among mountains of others.

      I’d say 4 months learning and exploring through South America as you’re doing is pretty impossible in many minds. Keep rocking it my man and que te disfrutes con los monos!


  • http://www.trekforhannah.co.uk Katie

    Wow, escaping from Alcatraz at 11! I’m not sure I’ve done anything that impressive, but I was lucky enough to meet someone who had.

    A few weeks ago I went on a charity trek along the Great Wall of China. I thought I was doing well to be going along when I was scared of heights, but out there I met an amazing man called Billy. Billy’s 69 and not only did he not once give up or complain even though at some points he obviously struggled.

    And more than that, Billy had a kind word and a smile for everyone. He volunteers at both a holiday home for children with cancer and a hospice in his local area. He did all he could to interact with the locals and to learn bits of Chinese so he could talk to them in their language.

    Billy was an inspiration to everyone on the trek and brought out the best in each and every one of us. He is quite simply a hero.

    • Scott

      It’s amazing the people we come across in those adventures. Guys like Billy show us that we always have something left to give to the folks around us. Pretty awesome reminder. Sounds like a killer adventure too!

  • http://livingthebalancedlife.com Living the Balanced Life

    This is such an AWESOME post! I loved SO much here, I am not even sure I can put it into words! I am pushing myself to be more physical, not sure that I would do a marathon, but I definitely plan to do some 5ks.
    As far as kids starting a business, let me tell you about my grandson. He is almost 11 and he started a business last year with his mom. They have been selling their gourmet wine jelly locally, but are pushing growth to be placed in stores. If you are interested, his site is http://saucyspirits.com. Never let it be said it that kids can’t do what they set their minds to! And that is a big part of it, once we get to be adults, we already have our minds made up of what we can and cannot do.
    Thank you so much, Scott!
    4 things to do slowly

    • Scott

      You are right on with this Bernice and what a story about your grandson! I can only imagine what he’ll be doing in 5, 10 or 15 years… The key for all of us folks who have been conditioned that too much is impossible, is to spend time around guys like him and doing simple things we didn’t think we could do–just like your 5k’s. Nicely done!

      Our results are a directly function of what we believe can be done.

  • http://mylifeinperu.com Kelly

    A couple of years ago, my family took a trip to Machu Picchu in Peru. There’s a mountain to the side of the Machu Picchu called Huayna Picchu, and it’s open to a certain number of people to climb each day. We went for it. I’m mid-40s, 100lbs overweight and have arthritis in my hips and knees. Younger members of my family that were there laughed and said there was no way I’d make it. I made it. Since then, I’ve decided I can do anything.

    • Scott

      I love it Kelly! I too have been to the top of that mountain and I can attest that that’s no small trek! Not to mention the few hundred foot drops with no railings on the sides of those crazy trails. But nothing beats that view at the top, eh?!

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  • leni moretti

    wow, your website is really inspiring. I am sitting here, reading one article after another asking myself “so where do I want to be at this point in my life?” I am finding myself at a crossroad. having lived in colombia for the past 2.5 years I am asking myself if it’s time to leave, but it’s a jump into the unknown, it means to leave my stability behind without knowing what’s lying ahead… I’ll figure it out and your thoughts kinda help with that. :)

    • Scott

      Awesome to hear you’ve stopped by Leni — and we are here to help you take the uncertainty head on! I can only imagine what one learns from a couple years in Columbia. I’m envious ;). Give some thought to how to can transfer those experiences into the next adventure! I can only imagine what’s next.

  • http://dadac123.blogbus.com dadac123

    Hi,Scott.First time comment here,just as you said,try something I’ve never done before :) I am not that good at Enlish,but I’ll try,hope you know what I wanna say ^_^

    I read your ‘Simple Daily Habits to Ignite Your Passion’ at ZenHabit yesterday,that’s really a great article.I love it so much and it’s really give me inspiration and passion.It’s just like a fresh air.

    And when you said start a blog,then I try to rewrite my blog again.’give your passion room to breathe.’ yeah,you are right.I wrote one post and then another and another…
    just in one day,I can’t believe my attitude changed so much.I start to find the things I love again,I start to feel the passion again,I feel alive again.

    These days I am not happy,the uncertain about the future made me can’t sleep or sometimes I just wanna escape.I am afraid of one day I’ll live a life I don’t like at all,and seems like all the things I liked before are away from my life.I can’t find myself.
    What you said have changed me a lot,the past 24 hour,I didn’t expect this gonna happen.
    Give my passion a room to breathe,it refreshes me.
    When I look around,I found the are so many beautiful and wonderful things in the world,but I didn’t realize that for a long time.Thanks for reminding me it again.
    I know there are so much difficulties there,but at least I am starting to find myself and feel myself again.

    Your site and your articles are great,and I think I gonna read it more and more.It give me a chance to feel more strength,more motivation and more positive attitude.
    And I really wanna say it again.

  • http://isiscat777.deviantart.com/ Maya

    The stories here are really inspiring – about personally pushing your limits. Most of them are about physical limits and strength. My personal limits are more internal – maybe you wouldn’t even classify them here. But limits are limits and they all start inside I think. I am an artist and, among other things, I design needlework. At the repeated requests of friends and associates I am working on putting together some patterns for commercial publication. This means not only making the patterns but also making them so that they are user friendly for anyone, then packaging them and having them printed. Then marketing myself. But doing this – putting out these things that for me are small personal treasures is like the worst case of stage fright ever. I am not sure how to do any of this, but I am working one day at a time. Pushing the limits of my knowledge, skills and experience – pushing against the tremendous weight of shyness and uncertainty. I am fortunate to have friends and family who are hugely supportive and not wanting to disappoint them adds to the weight of all this. But every day I work on it gets me a little closer to completion and makes this dream closer to a reality. Someday I hope to come back to this page and tell you I’ve sold my first pattern – but for now I totally appreciate everyone here and their stories of personal achievement. Its a wonderful inspiration and motivator thinking if you all did these things – manifested your dreams – then I can too.

  • http://olesica.wordpress.com Olesea

    this is one inspiring article, Scott. thank you!
    about the impossible, my plan is to do my first marathon next year, so I will soon start my training for that. I don’t believe in limits or impossible, i believe only in the fact that if I really really want to do something, I will do that and I will get there in the end :)
    good luck with everything you do, Scott, you’re an inspiration to many.

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  • http://Www.patrickbetdavid.com Patrick Bet-David

    Excellent blog. Have you read the new best seller 25 Laws for Doing the Impossible? You may enjoy the book.

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  • Kim

    Hi Scott,

    I just recently found your blog and I love it! I am getting ready to change my cautious life and I will be coming here often for a kick in pants.

    When I was 12, I was convinced I couldn’t do anything worth while. So, I decided that I would be good at being bad. I had some success at that. Thank God I didn’t stay there, as many do. Since I am approaching 50,(yikes)I would like to do some impossible things in life. The second half can only get better! Right?

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  • http://www.think-do-have.com Phil Soffe

    Hi Scott,
    I’ve more than started. I have my website, I have written my book and I want my message to beneficially effect as many people as possible.

    I know that my vision make sense. I’m just not sure what the next steps to living my legend and making a difference to other people’s lives should be.

    One day I will, because I LOVE WHAT I DO AND IT IS ALL THAT I DO.

    I think the next step is called internet marketing/overcoming information overload.

    Any advice you can give me will be much appreciated.

    Thanks for all your inspirational e-mails.


    Phil Soffe

  • http://www.goingthroughchanges.weebly.com Jerri

    This is one of the most inspiring posts I’ve seen so far on this site – and that’s saying something!

    For years I’ve talked about taking part in a local race called the Bay to Breakers. (This from someone who hasn’t run at all since high school, is out of shape & going through chemo at the moment.) Another dream is to actually put together an EP, which is a shorter version of a CD with some original music & spoken word stuff. After reading about the pre-teens doing the Escape from Alcatraz swim – especially the one in the wheelchair – I think I’ve officially run out of excuses. Tomorrow is the 1st of the month – time to go get it!

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  • http://www.prosperofilipe.ch Prosper

    Damn you’re right, I got a little lazy lately(lazy as not overrunning limits like I used to). This article just got me back on track!

    Thanks man, gotta go do something awesome now.

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    Superb post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Cheers!

  • http://www.growthguided.com Kael

    This is an absolutely incredible message.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to put this post together for us! Very powerful!

  • Yolandi

    I was 14 years old when I was diagnosed with cancer. In the end I was in the eye of the storm, the only place in the storm where it is peaceful. A shield of protection was formed by my loved ones and God holding us all together and making us stronger. I was healed after 4 months of chemo therapy. I strive to do the impossible each and everyday and to live life to the fullest. Thanks for writing this article Scott, it has re-ensured me that im on the right track. Everybody should touch their hearts and feel it beating, its beating for a purpose and this is my purpose.

    Kind regards,
    The 16 year old Cancer Warrior.

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  • Paolo

    I am trying this out. I am burning with desire to do something I believe I can’t or at least there are hundreds of obstacles keeping me from achieving my goals.

    Really great inspiration for a guy like me. Thanks brother, keep living by achieving the impossible.

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  • http://www.goldenratiotechsolutions.ca Jody

    I definitely need to make a list of “impossible” things. Some of them will definitely have to wait until the kids are old enough but the main few right now are to learn how to create video games and to actually create some. Second is to stop procrastinating… which can be accomplished by trying to do the “impossible” things.

    Lastly, I love this article, because I hate the word impossible. Nothing is truly impossible… they just haven’t been done yet!