The Impossible Dream

Posted on December 19, 2017 by Robert Ringer


A friend of mine was recently lamenting about his “impossible situation.”  I guess it’s all in the eyes of the beholder, because after listening to his detailed explanation of the facts, it appeared that his was an impossible situation with a lot of possibilities.

Our discussion got me thinking about what, exactly, defines an “impossible situation.”  What does “impossible” even mean?  Is it impossible to get the man or woman of your dreams to love you if he/she is already in love with — and maybe married to — someone else?  (Shades of Dudley Moore in the classic 1979 film 10 — or Simon Cowell, who actually achieved the impossible dream with his best friend’s wife.  Ouch!)  

How about surviving terminal cancer?  Stories about miraculous healings is a surefire invitation to a heated debate.  Many of us have known people who were told they had a terminal disease, yet survived and lived to enjoy many more healthy years.  Has every one of these cases been flukes?  Perhaps … but perhaps not.

All of which raises the question:  When the seemingly impossible happens, is it God, luck, coincidence, or something else that is responsible?  God can presumably do anything, but we’ve also been taught that God helps those who help themselves — meaning God helps those who take action.  Thus, the human ability to employ free will and take action is very much intertwined with God.

Sometimes, of course, we witness the impossible and refer to it as a coincidence.  But I’m not totally convinced that there is even such a thing as a coincidence.  It’s not farfetched to believe that coincidences are nothing more than the direct result of a group of atoms being attracted by the rapidly vibrating atoms in someone’s brain.

As an example, suppose I haven’t spoken to you in a year and I suddenly decide to call you.  Before I can dial your number, however, the phone rings — and it’s you!  That’s happened to me far too many times for it to be classified as a “coincidence.”

Which leads me to that great metaphysical abstraction we refer to as human will.  The will to accomplish something — be it winning a sporting event or making millions of dollars — manifests itself in something we call attitude.  If you have the “right” attitude, you can will something to happen, i.e., you can literally think it into becoming a reality.

Viktor Frankl, the father of logotherapy, was perhaps the most famous of all Holocaust survivors.  He lost his mother, father, brother, and wife in Nazi concentration camps.  Years later, as a world-renowned psychiatrist, he wrote:  “Everyth­ing can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

To be sure, Frankl had an amazing attitude under seemingly impossible circumstances.  Even so, I have no doubt that Frankl would have been the first to admit that he was a very lucky man.  But doubt aside, he also was convinced that he could not have survived Auschwitz and Dachau had he not focused on finding a meaning to life.

Consider three possibilities you would have had if, like Viktor Frankl in the 1940s, you had found yourself in a Nazi concentration camp.

Possibility No. 1:  Even If you had a great attitude in the face of your seemingly impossible situation, you still may not have survived without a good deal of luck.

Possibility No. 2:  If you had harbored an attitude of total despair, you surely would have been doomed, even if you had a lot of luck.

Possibility No. 3:  If you had a positive attitude coupled with good luck, you would have had at least a shot at surviving.  This, I believe, is what Frankl was getting at when he said that choosing one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances is the last of the human freedoms.

In all likelihood, then, the impossible dream is, at least theoretically, not impossible at all.  I’ve experienced far too many impossible situations that mysteriously — somehow, someway — became possible, and my guess is that you’ve experienced your share of these situations as well.

Talk about impossible, when I get up every morning and behold my little speck of the universe, it occurs to me that both the universe and my consciousness are complete impossibilities.  Surely I am the most improbable collection of atoms in existence.  If I am a product of “evolution,” so called, then what was the cause behind this evolution?  After all, I am nothing more than a consequence of some universal action, am I not?

Whatever it is that arranged my atoms in such a way that I can reflect on my own existence, does it not seem reasonable that the same “whatever” can make a brain tumor disappear?  Or bring the perfect spouse into the loneliest of lives?  Or lift a person who has hit rock bottom financially and guide him to great financial success?

I believe the answer is yes.  Luck, coincidence, and fate are interesting abstracts, but a more meaningful abstract is human will — the will to power, the will to money, the will to live … and so on.

And when it comes to transforming the impossible into the possible, I believe the most important human will is the will to connect.  Connecting with the Infinite Energy of the universe allows you to transcend secular constraints.

In other words, when you are connected to Infinite Energy, your life is not at the mercy of luck or coincidences.  Infinite Energy allows you to go beyond dreaming the impossible dream and actually live it.  Though we may never completely understand it, connecting with Infinite Energy appears to give the atoms of which we are comprised the magnetic ability to attract the things, people, and circumstances we need to transform our impossible dreams into reality.

Which leaves it up to each individual — be he a practicing religionist or an atheist — to customize the best way for him to connect with the Infinite Energy of the universe.  It’s also nice to know that when it comes to this monumental challenge, no one has an advantage over you.  On the contrary, you are on an equal footing with the most learned of theologians, so don’t shortchange yourself because of a lack of specific knowledge.

And remember:  The issue isn’t how you connect, but whether or not you do connect.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

30 responses to “The Impossible Dream”

  1. Owen Potts says:

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  2. Richard Head says:

    Amen, Robert.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family, sir!



  3. Jon says:

    True story: My wife was just released from a cancer hospital yesterday to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) after spending 211 days IN the hospital. The surgeon had to remove 8 organs and a portion of a 9th due to a slow-growing cancer that he estimated had been growing within her body for at least 5 years. I didn't even know that a human body could survive after having that many organs removed.

    We entered into this life-test in agreement with each other that we would remain positive throughout. We believe that 90% of the solution is mental and perhaps 10% at-most to be physical. About a month ago, the surgeon opined that she was going to survive "because of her smile, attitude and desire."

    We are told to expect that she will spend a couple of weeks in the SNF and then be released for me to take her home. If this isn't a perfect example of RJR's theory, I don't know what would be.

    • Robert D says:

      Bless you and your wife! Such a positive attitude! You are proof that anything is possible and exactly what Robert is talking about!

    • Lynne says:

      What an inspiring story! May you both continue to bring good fortune your way.

    • Jim Hallett says:

      Wonderful!! That is even more inspiring than Robert's article, which was a great one. You are getting to experience the blessings that can come to all who believe that such is possible. Enjoy your Christmas, and all the best for a GREAT 2018!

  4. TheLookOut says:

    Thanks Robert for another thought provoking article. It is
    a profound shame that too few people realize that in most
    dire situations they can will a more positive outcome.
    But the blame game is so much more convenient, and
    self serving.

    Merry Christmas, all the best to you, and your family.

  5. larajf says:

    Audrey Hepburn, I believe, said "impossible" really is "i'm possible." Never, never, never, never , never give up. (thank you, Churchill)
    I've had many experiences in life where the key was persist and be creative (and many failures when I didn't). It's important to be open to the possibilities.
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you & your family. And ask your daughter to write some posts. She was a fun read, as well.

    • Jim Hallett says:

      You mentioned two of my favorite people in your reply. Whether Audrey was the source of that reconfiguration of the word or not, it is a GREAT way to view things. I always loved her acting and class, and was quite envious she got to live out her years in gorgeous Geneva, Switzerland – far from the unhinged clowns in Hollywood. And with Churchill, when you give up, you automatically give in to the worst outcome. We don't always get what we want, but when we align all of our being with the highest and best within us, we are not likely to be disappointed with the results. Keep the faith there in Cali, and have a very Merry Christmas!

  6. Kauai Mike says:

    Live long enough and both warts & knowledge grow on a man …

  7. Rick G. says:

    Hey Robert, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. I have enjoyed reading your articles you posted this year, especially thought provoking ones like this article. I sincerely believe if people would ever get the chance to cool their jets and slow down and read an article like this, they just might begin to find some understanding and meaning in their life. Think about it.

    I wish you and your family all the very best for the coming New Year, and look forward to more Tortoise wisdom. I also enjoyed reading some of the comments posted to your articles by many of the regulars here who have visited your website. I wish all of you the best too and look forward to seeing all of you in 2018. To paraphrase a country classic song, I like it, I love it, I want some more of it! Lols!

  8. Michael Burrill says:

    Love it. Thank you, Robert. Brings to mind Kurt Vonnegut's concept of harnessing UWTB, the Ultimate Will to Become, to power spaceships and whatever else. I've always loved that concept, convinced that the world would be rid of poverty and hunger if this was widely taught and put into practice. Unstoppable. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  9. Phil says:

    I love this guy. Thank you for another great one, Robert!

  10. Ted Ted Story says:

    I'm all in on your thought process at the end of Aug. 2016 I was diagnosed with anal cancer. My thought was, "Wow I'm a really powerful creator to have created this, and I can uncreate it as well." Last week I was told The PET Scan showed no trace of cancer and the blood work indicated the same. It was an interesting experience and I'm excitedly moving forward.

  11. Jim Hallett says:

    "Man's Search for Meaning" which I first read in my Psychology of Religion class at Univ. of Michigan (one of the few gems I actually "learned" while there amidst the lefty propaganda!) is one of my all-time favorite books, right behind the Harry Browne classic, "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World". Heaven forbid that any of us would be faced with the dire circumstances Frankl found in the extermination camps, but his "search" and profound faith gave him a chance at survival, which thankfully he experienced. Not only at Christmas, when the "meaning" of the holiday has been lost in a sea of consumerism, but all year long, it behooves us to create the life we wish to experience, and which ultimately gives our days on earth some meaning. I do not believe in coincidences at all, and when life delivers something I don't want, I look within to see how I brought that into existence, and then do my best to change it. Thanks for another good read, and may your family enjoy the holiday season (I'm not sure you actually celebrate Christmas as such), as you bring lots of light and joy into the world all year long!

  12. Gary Waltrip says:

    I always love Robert’s metaphysical musings, which indicate there is more to our physical reality than we know. Great results seem to be a factor of belief, visualization, attitude and action.

  13. Lee says:

    What Phil said!

  14. Marte says:

    The Law of Attraction – pure, simple, and always working. Focus on what you want, not on what you don't want.

  15. James Randi X says:

    "Infinite Energy of the universe"? Puh-lease.

  16. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    If I remember right, Frankl himself wrote that HELPING OTHERS while incarcerated gave his life MEANING and enabled him to survive. His book on MEANING is one of the most important works I've ever read!

  17. Paul Herring says:

    "When the seemingly impossible happens, is it God, luck, coincidence, or something else that is responsible? God can presumably do anything, but we’ve also been taught that God helps those who help themselves — meaning God helps those who take action. Thus, the human ability to employ free will and take action is very much intertwined with God." – Robert Ringer 2017

    Robert, you speak of "Infinite Energy of the Universe". I read all your posts and can see your intelligence. Why then is that you use this extremely nebulous expression/ concept? Are you saying there is a Supreme Being or is it a force? In my experience, there is always a driver behind the force – someone who delivers it.

    I've posted several replies here and don't want to appear harping on the same theme, but it does come back to this as expressed in the Bible at Isaiah 45:18: "For this is what Jehovah says, The Creator of the heavens, the true God, The One who formed the earth, its Maker who firmly established it, Who did not create it simply for nothing, but formed it to be inhabited: ‘I am Jehovah, and there is no one else.’" – Revised New World Translation.

    You speak of the Impossible Dream as well. When I first heard that Jehovah – God's personal name in the Bible – has not abandoned his purpose started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, namely, to extend the borders of Eden and have Adam and Eve's offspring (all of us) live forever in Paradise, I thought it was a Utopian Dream. Not so different from your Impossible Dream, it seems.

    In any case, can you or any of my fellow readers see the Impossible Dream becoming a reality through any other means? Certainly, it won’t come through human rulers. Your own posts have given us insight into the workings of Washington and this is likely true of other governments around the world. God has allowed the human family time to work out which government/s can rule benignly and be sustainable. Have any truly worked? Do we have an concrete belief that they will in the future?

    Finally, Psalm 139:14 lets us know that we are “wonderfully made”. We can endure anything really if that be so, even what Viktor Frankl had to. Many of us have had to as well. But the Bible assures us that the Impossible Dream will come true, but from a perspective different from where we might expect it.

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  20. patg2 says:

    From reading so many of your articles, I have concluded that you are on the edge of a major breakthrough in understanding the purpose of human life. Keep searching, and always look for TRUTH. It is paramount. Here is one place that you might find helpful: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. I highly recommend his other books as well. My husband found them especially valuable, and they helped to cement in his ultimate destiny, keeping company with the Creator of all this wonderful stuff we enjoy, the earth, its beauty, its opportunities, its joy. Merry Christmas. I can't think of a more appropriate time to tell you these things.

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