The buzzing was loud in the crisp Spring afternoon. A distinct feel of cleanliness could be savoured as an April shower had come and passed. A train of jackdaws could be heard clattering away in the far distance. However, the buzzing remained continuous and persistent. Bertie looked in wonder at the source of the buzz, a bumblebee flying from flower to flower. He looked with incredulity as the yellow and black ball of fuzz flew, appearing effortlessly, carrying its big body around, accelerating its speed at times. Bertie thought to himself, mystified, “How on earth?”
Did you know that according to the laws of aerodynamics, the humble bumblebee should not be capable of flight? Many scientists from various backgrounds have spent time and money on wind tunnels and lab testing to prove their thesis that says because of its body weight and shape in relation to its wingspan the bumblebee could not possibly fly. The only problem with that is no one has ever been able to convince a single bumblebee that they should stop flying as it is proving all the expert opinions wrong! The undeniable fact is that, though seemingly frustrating, the unique and innovative method of which the bumblebee employ works! It does not listen nor pay any apology to the so-called experts in the aeronautical field and just keeps buzzing around.
In your life, have you had a great idea that made you so excited that you could not sleep? It may be relating to your school project, a drama play, a gift idea for a loved one, in your workplace or at home. It may have come to you so fast and quick that it was like being struck by lightning, a sudden glimpse of your inner genius crept out and engulfed you with the simplest of solutions to a continuous problem. Or maybe it was developed over time, you have been considering it for some time, tweaking and adjusting to make sure it covered all angles and addressed as many issues as possible. Either way, it felt brilliant and you got excited to bring this idea to fruition.
However, when you presented it to the world, be it telling one person or to a group of dedicated audience, you were met with the comment, “That sounds good in theory but I doubt it would work in practice.” These people who said this may be experts in their field or simply someone close to you. These same people may be telling this to you out of the pure concern and usually, have your best interest at heart. They do not want to see you fail and genuinely care for you. Do consider that perhaps it is their limiting beliefs that do not allow the genius you have envisioned to be seen by them. Or perhaps they have tried and failed and hence relay their experiences to you in the best of intentions forgetting a simple difference that it is you, not them, who is translating this idea into reality.
Have you ever told a child that something was impossible (like climbing a branchless tree or jumping across a wide stream) as you felt they may not be able to do so and it was said out of love and concern and when they actually succeeded, you were very impressed and a little surprised? Shamefully, I have been caught guilty from time to time! I am glad to be proven wrong as it adjusted the standards I have for myself. I realised that it was my limiting beliefs and I am simply not my children!
Imagine how the Wright brothers felt when they said they were going to fly in a machine, when Barack Obama declared at age 21 that he was going to be America’s first black president, or when Leonardo da Vinci designed the bridge in Istanbul in the early 1500s only to have it realised 500 years later when the world had caught up with his design? They all met opposition that would declare their ideas were impossible. The thing with impossible that it only remains impossible until someone does it.
People who have incredible dreams and come up with incredible solutions are usually extremely unreasonable. George Bernard Shaw said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Consider any improvements or advances in the world. It is usually due to someone or a group of people who saw a problem, refuse to yield to it, and found a solution. Now consider any improvements or advances in your own life. It usually is similar whereby you said to yourself, “There has to be a better way. I do not care if no one has ever done it. I am going to do it my way.”
When you come up with an idea that seemed impossible to others but makes perfect sense in your head, what do you do? Do you give up the idea just because someone you cared for and/or respected said it was impossible? Or do you make every attempt to bring it to life? When you fail (temporarily, may I add), do you reiterate, adjust, and try again until you find a way to succeed?
There are many things in life that in theory, sounds mad but it works amazingly well in practice, consider the hummingbird! It is perhaps wiser to spend time and energy in finding out how things can work rather than to discredit things that are felt not possible. Recall the scope of belief you had when you were a child, only to be eroded away slowly by ‘life’ or more specifically, the people you meet and your experiences. Remember that everyone has limiting beliefs and they are not yours. Also, your past is not your future.
It is those who are brave enough to dream the impossible, take supposedly inconceivable actions that bring seemingly incredible results. As long as it works in practice, does it matter that it ‘did not work in theory’? When someone tells you your idea is silly, remember the bumblebee.
‘It is going to be hard. But hard is not impossible.’ – Anon