Having Courage Is One Of The Six Impossible Things

Alice: How long is forever?

White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second”

~Lewis Carroll

Life seems like that sometimes. I remember years ago that we were driving north on I-5 in Oregon and we had just crested the top of a hill around Roseberg. You could see quite a way in front of you as the road sloped down into a valley. Ahead of us was a semi-tractor trailer and he ran over something that looked like shiny.metal in the road. Immediately his tires blew and he started swerving and then the whole rig tipped onto its side. For a moment it was like slow motion, I could see so many small details as the whole scene played out like a movie. Then whoosh, time sped back up and my husband was pulling off the road and running back to make sure the driver was ok. The driver was just shocked by what had happened. But for me, it was the weirdest experience of time I have ever had. It was like the rabbit said, forever came in just one second.

“Dare to dream again.  For dreaming is the language of your soul, and nothing your soul truly desires could ever be wrong or impossible.”  Jacob Nordby.  Alice’s courage with the unknown in Wonderland, came from a great deal of curiosity. She fell into an unknown world of adventure, and nothing was as it should be. Sometimes in our life, we feel like that. The world around us seems out of control. We might think like Alice “I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then”.

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then”  Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.  In order to embrace change, we need a great deal of courage. Change in our lives today is speeding up, faster and faster. This speed of change is impacting every facet of our lives. It changes the education system, the business world, and our personal lives. I saw a cute video the other day where the family was in a hotel room and the dad handed the telephone receiver to his young daughter to hang it up and she didn’t know what to do. All she had experience with was a cell phone.

Technology changes our world moment by moment. Political upheaval can change borders in a moment. Our belief systems can swing from one absolute truth, to a new absolute truth. It takes a lot of courage to stay in that place of curiosity and not become mired into taking rigid stands against someone whose belief is different from us. It takes a lot of courage to change beliefs that we have had for a long time, when we have to finally acknowledge that we have outgrown them.

It takes a lot of courage to have a love affair with the unknown – it means that we are constantly learning something new and each new thing means we let go of an old belief. You may think like Alice “this is impossible” but as the Mad Hatter replied, “Only if you think it is.” My favorite line is “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”“I don’t just dream at night, I dream all day; I dream for a living”  Steven Spielberg.  Enjoy the journey, do the impossible, and be a just a tiny bit Mad like the Mad Hatter.

“May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love.  To postpone my dream no longer.  But do at last what I came here for and waste my heart on fear no more.”  John O’Donohue.  I think too, that there is some anticipation mixed in with this quote, being “in love with the unknown”, which is quite different than most of us.  Most of us are scared of the unknown.  I love looking at the energy of a word, when you slide the word into a different kind of thought.  Courage is being in love with the anticipation of what comes next, even when we have no idea what might happen next.  Certainly Alice had no idea of what was coming next into her adventures.  The story line seems to run with the energy of anticipation.
“If I haven’t thought about six impossible things before breakfast, I consider the day wasted”  Walt Disney.  Transformation was a big topic in the story.  One pill made her smaller, Cake made her larger.  The Cheshire Cat became invisible.  Animals can talk.  You can kill the Jabberwocky.  Nothing remained the same for long in Wonderland.


Sheryl Silbaugh
Sheryl Silbaugh
SHERYL Silbaugh is a writer, speaker, and transformational coach. She is a Director at Bank of America. She is the founder of created to inspire people to transform grief into gold. In April 2010, Sheryl suffered the loss of her nephew, who was randomly killed by a gang member. The idea of LemonadeMakers came from her grief. She experienced firsthand the creative power of transformation. She started a small Facebook presence that has grown from 500 followers in July 2015 to over 47,300 in March 2017. She demonstrates how to take life’s lemons and make lemonade. She is a skilled guide for those experiencing transition or loss. When we let go of what no longer serves us, and open ourselves to our soul’s calling, we uncover the treasures of our experience and can let the rest blow away on the winds of healing. She aims to support people to create transformation in every area of their lives. She provides insights on how to collaborate together to manifest their dreams in The LemonadeMakers Club. She teaches how to explore our inner and outer world to see what needs to be transformed. She is gifted in her ability to see patterns in human behavior and asks just the right questions to start unlocking the doors to your life purpose and the unique personal genius that we all have. Her book, “Timeless Treasures” will be published the summer of 2017, a collection of over 90 essays on transformation.

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  1. Dear Sheryl, the quote you start with is from Osho, not Osha. Osho, an enlightened master who lived in India and in Oregon, US. You can find lots of information about him and many beautiful words that he spoke for years to his “sannyasins”.
    Another quote: “Life in itself is so beautiful that to ask the question of the meaning of life is simply nonsense”.
    Thank you for the article.

    • Thank you so much for the correction. Sometimes the information you “google” has typo’s. I will fix it right away, so as not to continue the error.

  2. I love quotes. The right ones embody a person’s priorities, philosophies, and if really good, souls. I think my most memorable one is from the song “Holding out for a Hero”:

    “Where have all the good men gone
    And where are all the gods?
    Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?

    I’m reminded constantly of this when I think leadership. People need good leaders, ideal leaders, and leaders that are not arm-chair generals.