What A Clown Taught Me About Doing The Impossible.

The World's Strongest Clown.
The World’s Strongest Clown.
  • Circumnavigation of the world
  • The light bulb
  • The telephone
  • Human flight
  • Visiting the moon
  • Personal computers
  • Breaking the 4-minute mile
  • A portable phone
  • A portable phone with music, a camera, and video chatting.
  • A black U.S. President ( I had to throw this one in there.)

Know what these are?

This is a small sample of things we once considered impossible.  Almost everything that was created or had not been done before was considered impossible at some point.

In my non-medical opinion, I’m convinced that our brains tend to operate on automatic mode sometimes.  And anything that we have never seen accomplished, can’t imagine, or seems too difficult gets dumped in that part of the brain where all the impossible things go.  Let’s call it the black hole. Once here we can never even consider the possibility of these things.

This happens so easily and naturally that we don’t even know it’s occurring.

Here in Havana, I love bringing my kids to the circus. The circus doesn’t have an animal show, except two dogs in dresses, no fancy lights, no souvenirs, and no food for sale (except some nasty chewy popcorn) . You walk into the big top and sit on long thin uncomfortable wood bleachers that barely cover your butt.

As people sit, the wood bends and squeaks as if one more person will cause the entire row to snap. This place is bare-bones.

With that said, what this circus lacks in food, animals, and comfort it makes up in performances. They have incredible acrobats, contortionists, and jugglers. Oh yeah, and they also have an awesome band blasting salsa music.

But my favorite thing about this circus is the clown show.  During the skit they ask for an athletic volunteer from the audience to compete in a strength test against the clown. All the contestant has to do is copy the clown.

Sounds easy, right?

  • The clown starts off with 10 push ups.

No big deal.

  • Then the clown does the human flag. (Imagine hanging from a pole in a horizontal position.)

Wait a minute, I said, this is getting interesting.

  • Then the clown does ten one handed push-ups.

Wow! Who is this guy, I say to myself.

  • Next the clown completes 10 push-ups using only his freaking index fingers.  (Side note:  I ran into him one day while he was performing on the street, so I asked him to prove this was real.)

BAM!

Push-ups(Kids/adults don’t try this at home or you will break your fingers.)

 This guy is a beast. The real deal!

  • Now picture yourself lying on your chest with your arms and legs fully extended.  And your palms facing down (like Superman flying). Now try doing a push-up? Those are the hardest push-ups in the world also known as the “Superman push-ups.” He easily cranks out 10 of these babies.

By this point, I’m telling my wife:

“That’s impossible. No one can do that!”

But it’s not over.

  • Then he does the superman push-ups using his two freaking INDEX FINGERS!

By this point my I’m in complete shock and disbelief.  Brain cannot compute (this is my robot voice).

Underneath his clown costume this guy is Wolverine without the muscles and platinum claws. the things he’s doing are all in the “impossible” part of my brain– the black hole.  (What’s the scientific name for this section of the brain?)

I’m sure there’s a lot of stuff in this black hole that has been locked away never to be seen or heard from again. But the scariest thing about this is that over the years, society, life, marketing, and our environment determine what’s possible for our lives.

Our environment tries to dictate our reality.

But I’m learning that our possibilities have more to do with our mental attitude than with our actual circumstances.

Some of us have convinced ourselves that

  • it’s impossible to have a career you absolutely love.
  • it’s impossible to take that around-the-world vacation for 30 days with your family.
  • it’s impossible to buy that dream home.
  • it’s impossible to have an incredible and loving marriage.
  • it’s impossible to start that business or a charity you’ve always dreamed about.
  • it’s impossible to lose weight.
  • it’s impossible to write that book you’ve been thinking about for years.
  • it’s impossible to become a rapper in your 40’s (please don’t do this.)

Unless we’re intentional about fighting these negative ideas or expectations they can take over.  I like what Simon T. Bailey said in his book “Release Your Brilliance.” He suggests changing our mindset to one where

“Impossibility is not an option.”

Don’t give up on your dreams, goals, or aspirations because it seems impossible. And if you’re tempted to quit, like I am at times, remember what Henry Ford said:

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’tyoure right.

Do the impossible or at least start to question it.

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