In 1962 President JFK (John Kennedy) declared in a speech at Rice University that the United States would put a man on the moon. People were utterly flabbergasted. The brashness of the statement made no sense. JFK had not one single shred of evidence that it could happen. The science wasn’t there nor was the equipment necessary to pull it off even developed.
But the goal was laid out for all to see and hear. Six years later the US had put a man on the moon. It is one of mankind’s most impressive achievements; especially in contrast to where we stood before the statement was uttered.
What JFK and the team of scientists who pulled this off knew was that even though they had no idea how they would be able to achieve this, they trusted that the way would be revealed so long as they continued unfailingly to march in that particular direction. Indeed, it is not so very important to know “how” but rather to know “yes” it will happen…just cannot say exactly how at this point.
When a swimmer or a coach or a team thinks about what it wants to accomplish we wonder if there is a lesson to be learned.
Once you can identify your BHAG – big, hairy, audacious goal – you can then set out to figure out how to pull it off.
This summer in Omaha, there will be at least one (and if history is any predictor, there will be more than one) swimmer who makes the US Olympic team that is not on anybody’s list today as a contender.
This is possible because there is always someone who is dreaming incredibly big…and backing up those dreams with action. In all cases of success those two ingredients are always present: the dream + the action; the goal + the work.
Again, pretty simple while perhaps “impossible” to those looking in from the outside.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Mohammed Ali