“... Einstein came in and said pleasantly, 'Hello, I'm coming to your seminar. But first, where is the tea?'”
Richard Feynman

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman

The Potential of Impossible Goals?


We recently moved house – so I’ve had many “projects” in transforming the house into a home, alongside other relocation issues that require attention and action. Some of these “projects” are “one-task-projects” – small and unobtrusive – such as hanging a shelf. Others seemed like “one-task-projects” but are actually more tricky then that – because once I got started other supporting tasks appeared – things that needed to be done before I could do what I actually wanted to do. One example was the “hanging a curtain in the living room” project.

The curtains were on hand and ready for hanging – but to do it I needed some accessories. This was a new “shopping” project. It required that I go out and buy some hanging accessories from the hardware store – two wooden ceiling hangers and a 3 meter wooden pole. (Actually this project is a bit more elaborate because I tried to make the trip to the hardware store effective – to get some more things we needed for other “projects”). When the “shopping” project was done I was standing next to my car wondering how the hell I am going to fit a 3 meter pole in it. It didn’t fit. So I had to drive with the pole sticking outside the back window that was rolled open to accommodate it.  The “hanging” project then resumed – I drilled holes in the ceiling (which I don’t like doing – it’s difficult and messy), screwed in the hangers. Andreea prepared the curtain on the pole and I climbed up to the ladder to slide it into the hangers. Yey! Then we looked at the curtains and realized they looked silly – they were too short – they did not reach the floor (apparently this ceiling is higher then the ceiling in the previous house).  So a new “curtain relocation” project was born… and on and on the story goes.

If I am passionate about the “project” I am working on – then it will motivate me in taking on and resolving the additional “projects” that come up.  If I am not passionate about a “project” – then I will give up at one point or another (sometimes I won’t even get started). The more passionate I am about a “project” – the more it is likely to lead to other “projects”. This is the way it is with me – the things I am really passionate about are usually very challenging and take a lot of effort and commitment.

The project I am most passionate about as I write these words is SweetClarity. SweetClarity feels like an impossible project – I have been pursuing it for almost two years and there is sign of coming relief. It just keeps presenting more and more challenging “projects”. Yet nothing (and there are powerful forces acting on me and SweetClarity) seems to be able to diminish my drive and commitment to it.  It seems as if the “impossibility” of the SweetClarity Project is fueling my drive and motivations. It is a powerful context in my life as it provides me with substance and direction. Though I do want to succeed in realizing SweetClarity – I am embracing the contribution it has already made in my life.

Maybe this is an expression of Dharma?

Do you have impossible goals in your life?

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