“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible” – Walt Disney
Since Impossible has started, the impossible list has been one of the centerpieces of it. From the get-go, I said that I started this blog in order to be an impetus to live a story and do something with my life.
The Impossible List
Today I’m going to walk you through how to make your own. Here we go…
How To Start Your Impossible List
Every list starts with a few items. Don’t worry about making a comprehensive list to start. Unlike a bucket list, an impossible list will grow with time. In a year, you’ll be putting things onto this puppy that you never dreamed of! So don’t fret too much about getting it perfect from the start – the real key is to just start.
So what should you put down on your list. Well, it can be whatever you want it to be. Here are a few suggestions:
- Things you want to do with your life.
- Things you want to do, but have told yourself is “impossible”
- Things you want to do, but someone else told you was impossible.
A lot of people freak out about this step because a blank paper can feel quite intimidating and writing something in INK feels like a BIG COMMITMENT! There’s a couple of ways to make this less stressful. Remember:
1. It’s okay to put things down on the list and not do them (if you really decided that you didn’t’ want to do them). However, backing out of things because you’re scared that you might fail is another issue…
2. Don’t worry about “finding your passion” or making this big, massive commitment. More than anything, the impossible list is a practice in learning, growing and pushing your limits to find what you’re capable of. You don’t have to start out by finding your passion, you just have to start out by finding a few things that you’re curious about.
A great hack to trying new things is to simply try things you think are interesting or things you’re curious about. Don’t worry about any major commitments, just try something new and experiment with it. Oh, and have fun!
While everyone’s impossible list will look somewhat different based on their interests, goals and attitude, here’s a few good categories to come up with some ideas:
- World Changing Goals (take these one at a time – world changing is tough!).
- Fitness Goals (races, triathlon, performance, weights, body composition).
- Adventure / Adrenaline (skydiving, bungee, base jumping).
- Skill Goals (handstands, muscle-ups, scuba diving, etc)
- Business Goals
- Personal Challenges (minimizing possessions, language acquisition).
- Various Fun Goals (events / mini-challenges)
Be sure to adventure off into the less probable:
- Party with Richard on Necker Island
- Get your own impossible island.
- Get to space.
Remember, you can make the list whatever you want. If you need more ideas, feel free to take a look at my impossible list and steal any ideas you like.
It’s paramount that you remember that this is YOUR list, there are no rules for it. You can do whatever you want. That said, here are a few guidelines I’ve found helpful you might want to keep in mind.
- Put things on the list that you want to do. It sounds simple, but don’t try to “beat” anyone else’s list. How can you live a better life than someone else? You can’t. You can only live your life.
- In the same vein, don’t approach this from an “I’ll show them” attitude. While having a chip on your shoulder is actually a good motivator, people whose sole purpose is to “show them” are incredibly draining people to be around. Even when they win, they lose because they’re spending so much time & energy focused on someone to whom they really shouldn’t be granting either (these are limited quantities, remember?). You can do this, but I’ve found that this type of person usually spends their time, measuring their accomplishments to see if they’ve “proved themselves” enough, rather than enjoying their accomplishments.
- Create a variety. If you’re like me, you have a lot of different interests. Having a list like this is a nice excuse to go try out all of those interests and figure out what you really enjoy.
- Name it something. You can call it a bucket list, an impossible list, or whatever the heck you want, but it’s a lot more fun when you name it something your own.
- Put a lot of things on your list, but vary them up and do them either for you or for a cause greater than yourself. Don’t do them because you want to compete or finish them as some sort of final revenge. That only takes away from your accomplishments and diminishes the joy you get from completing them.
Where To Put Your Impossible List
So where should you put your ell, you have a few options.
- I’m a fan of blogs. You can start a blog for less than $100.
- Use Evernote. It’s one of my top resources and contains the contents of my brain.
- An old-fashion journal does the trick as well.
Wherever you put it, you want to make sure that you’ll be able to go back, update it and keep it top of mind so you’re constantly challenged to go out and keep pushing your limits and challenging yourself.
The Key Aspect of Your Impossible List
The only real rule of the impossible list is that it’s never done. Remember, don’t freak out about finalizing it, because if you do it right – your impossible list is never done – you’re always acting on it. As you grow and knock more and more things off your list, you’ll replace them with new, tougher, more impossible things. That means that instead of your list getting smaller over time, it gets bigger as you
Go work on your list today. You don’t have to finalize it (mine is always being upgraded), but just get started.
This is the fun part. Dream big and enjoy putting together your impossible list. When you’re done with it, feel free to share it with us by doing 3 things below:
- Leave the link to it below.
- Write the #1 thing you’re going to start on.
- The first step you’re going to take to achieve it.
Because dreaming is the fun part, but the thing about doing the impossible is that it takes work. So while you’re enjoying writing down your list, start thinking to yourself.
What are you willing to give up?
That’s it! You’ve made your impossible list. But before you feel too accomplished, you should know that that’s the easy part! Lots of people make lists – the hard part is doing – so don’t wait, get out there and start pushing your limits. You might be surprised at what Impossible things you might be able to do.
Justin Leong says
I am currently more than 7 months into the 365 day cold shower challenge. I’m going to try to get a patent at my internship this summer. I am also on my way to doing 25 pull ups(personal best of 22) and am signed up for a Spartan Race in January.
I’m going to take a cold shower tonight to keep my streak up and I just finished my pull up workout this morning. I would not be where I am today without the impossible list!
Chris Schimmel says
Going to replace internet usage with continuous drawing for a month and gain twenty pounds of lean mass in a year. Thanks for the post I’ll see what goals come next
I’ve had a bucket list for awhile and I’m always adding to it. I’m working on my next one right now, hiking the entire 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail. Gear and funds are what I’m still working on.
Alison Phillips says
I totally can’t handle sharing my list publicly but I CAN share a few of the biggest things on it.
Move somewhere warm where I can feel at home (outside the USA)
Lose another 40 pounds
Get the motorcycle I have always wanted
Finish my tattoo back (masterpiece)
Am I going to do these things and the rest that are on there? Yeah, I have to. I hate lists, and if I have to make one for this then I’m going to take every ounce of pleasure in doing every single one of them to the fullest.
Achieving Impossibilities says
Hey Joel! (sorry this comment is a little irrelevant to your post)
I’ve been doing the paleo diet (also cold showers too!) for about 4 months now, and the results have been great! (Paleo) Combined with exercise, I’ve never been taken closer to my goal of the coveted abs. I used to be skinny/fat, however now that I’ve managed to cut down the stomach, my dad’s pestering and complaining to me that Paleo is unhealthy, and it kills me inside every time he says that, because I know Paleo is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. How can I convince him that my grain-free (non-paleo people shriek in horror), dairy free, and legume free diet isn’t unhealthy?
Mike McNally says
Link to my Impossible List – http://dreamexec.com/dreamlist/
The #1 thing I’m going to start on – Starting my own personal training business
The first step I’m going to take to achieve it – Get qualified, sign up for my level 3 personal training course
Keep up the great work Joel!
I’m trying to get my 20 push-ups and also pass my exam in to university. Made this list today, we will see how this goes:)