Financial Freedom: Redefine What is Impossible

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My son is 2 years old.  It’s a fascinating time in a young person’s life.  It is amazing how much a child develops from month to month.  Just today, my son and I were at a local restaurant that had a play room which featured a large jungle gym.  We’ve been to this place before and there is a section of the jungle gym where the bars are spaced further apart than in other places.  He had not been able to climb this area by himself a couple of weeks ago.  Today, I had the feeling that he was going to be able to do it. 

I encouraged him to go to that difficult part of the jungle gym.  Although he was excited (as he always is), I could tell that he was a little intimidated.  When we take on a task in which we had met with failure in the past, we all experience intimidation and fear.  None of us like to experience setbacks and the embarrassment, sometimes external and often internal, that accompanies it.  But it is important to remember that you are never quite the same person who struggled and failed before.  You are older and wiser than you were during the last attempt.  We learn far more from our setbacks than from our victories.  Sometimes, it is just the force of sheer will to continue to attempt despite the history and despite the objections of the nay-sayers.  Thomas Edison developed the incandescent light bulb after thousands of failed attempts.  Some thought the invention was impossible.  But through the persistence and hard work, his invention brought light to millions and combined with his other innovations provided him with riches.

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My son began to climb the bars and soon arrived at the same place where he had had difficulty two weeks before.  He tried to climb as he always had and was unsuccessful.  He became frustrated and asked for my help where I had helped him before, but I told him no.  I told him I think he could climb it without my help.  “You can do it! I know you can!”  I also pointed to a place that I thought he might be able to use as a foothold which would give him the leverage to push himself up.  The first time I pointed this out to him, he seemed puzzled, but he soon had his foot there; and then, with difficulty, he eventually was able to push himself up to the next rung.  Surprised and happy, he had a big smile.  He joyfully yelled out, “I did it!”.  And I, smiling the proud smile only a father can have, yelled out, “Yes you did! Good job!” 

 Financial Freedom: Redefine What is Impossible
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Soon after World War II, the United States started to design better, faster and more powerful aircraft.  As the planes became faster, they began approaching what was then called the “sound barrier”.  Pilots approaching the sound barrier experienced shaking associated with turbulence that many feared would destroy the plane.  Some scientists were convinced that the speed of sound was the speed limit of things flying through the air.  In 1947, test pilot, Chuck Yeager, broke the sound barrier.  Soon after dozens of pilots began to break the sound barrier until it no longer was referred to as a barrier, it was simply the speed of sound.  History is filled with such moments when what was the impossible suddenly becomes possible and when those who follow can perform the same feats with ease.

My son soon climbed the bars again.  This time he was no longer frustrated.  He knew what he had to do.  The impossible was now possible for him and he would not be denied.  Watching your child succeed is probably the most fulfilling joy in the world to a parent.  I look forward to a lifetime of victories.

Your experience and the experience of your children may be that it is impossible to become financially free.  It’s not.  It doesn’t matter your background, your history, your challenges or your current income.  Greatness lies within you and within them.  Nourish your child’s belief in himself or herself.  Learn with your children so you can help them to the extent that you can. 

Remember the impossible is only impossible until someone does it.

 Financial Freedom: Redefine What is Impossible
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