When something seems impossible, try making a list of 10 possible things that could be done to achieve that “impossible” goal. Some might not work, but all it takes is one idea to solve an impossible problem.
When Robert Schuller was looking for a place to preach while raising the funds to build a church, he was told that it would be impossible to find an empty hall in their town. Instead of feeling defeated, he made a list of 10 possibilities he could try:
- Rent a school building
- Rent a Masonic Hall
- Rent an Elk’s Lodge
- Rent a mortuary chapel
- Rent an empty warehouse
- Rent a community club building
- Rent a Seventh-Day Adventist Church
- Rent a Jewish synagogue
- Rent a drive-in theater
- Rent an empty piece of ground, a tent, and folding chairs
It turned out that while many of those possibilities didn’t work, the drive-in theater ended up being an unconventional but great option. Later he had a dream of building a ‘tower of hope’ onto his church, but it would cost $1 million. Again, raising $1 million seemed impossible, but he made a list that ranged from (1) Get 1 person to give $1,000,000, to (10) Get 1,000 people to give $1,000, a goal that seemed more achievable. A seemingly insurmountable goal is enough to stop many people from even trying, but making a list of different possibilities makes the mountain seem a little easier to climb.
Game Plan: Make your own list of 10 possibilities when you are facing a problem that feels overwhelming. Remember, all it takes is one idea.
Quote source: Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do, Robert Schuller