“There is no use trying”, said Alice. “One can’t believe impossible things”.
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice“, said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.“ – Lewis Carroll
I read this quote from “Alice in Wonderland” on a greeting card a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking about it every day since then. It’s stuck in my brain because I’ve recently embarked on another leg of my life’s journey.
My company has been sold, my “day job” is no more, and we’ve up and moved 3,000 miles. I’ve set up a home office, and declared, (sound the refrain), “I’m going to start my own business!!”
Here’s the thing: I’ve never done this before. I’ve been employed by “a company” for over 28 years. My favorite piece of paper is a W-2.
I’ve been conditioned by that nice consistency of a paycheck hitting the bank every two weeks.
It’s time to get back on Don Quixote’s horse, and start believing those impossible things.
That’s the interesting element about starting from nothing – all the desired outcomes are dreams right now. And I do need practice. Before, all of the business goals were specified by someone else – bosses, shareholders, boards, etc.
Now it just me and my business partner, although I’m very lucky that that partner is Liz Strauss, because she has the disease.
The Dreamers Disease, that is.
Liz has been spreading that disease for many years now, and I’ve been the beneficiary of a lot of her wisdom ever since we started the labor of love called SOBCon. At those events in Chicago, she is at her absolute best. After the 2008 event, she inspired me to write:
“We must continue to dream, and dream big, and not let them go. Be fearless, and open, and giving – all the time. Nothing is beyond our grasp”
So yes, I’m lucky, because in Liz there is someone like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, road testing 6 impossible dreams in the space of one morning (heck, I think I actually counted 12 one morning). I absorb these dreams now from a different perspective, now that I’m back on Don Quixote’s horse.
I remember the last time I really saddled up – it was when I started a quest at my day job to make every single person in my company a happy employee. Every one – all 1,200 of them. People looked at me like I was crazy when I went around 4 states in my rental car, preaching happiness in meeting after meeting. Yep, me and the horse got along fine back then.
That experience taught me something else about dreams – there’s an added element to it, one that Don Quixote also knew about. Grace.
As I wrote then,
He (Quixote) was on a quest, a desire (quoting from the Broadway musical) to “add some measure of grace to the world”. By adding grace, we honor the labor and effort that’s such a big part of our daily lives.
Keep dreaming, and honor our efforts to achieve the impossible. That’s what we’re going to do, Liz and I. And through our new business, do our best to spread that Dreamers Disease to many more people.
And I can’t wait to tell you more about it……..