Acceptance and Action Part 2: Assessing the Possible

In part one of this series we discussed two possible approaches to a given situation: acceptance and action. The first and most important is action. Action is literally the only way to change anything, this is true on a physical and psychological level. As soon we have made a decision to act we have taken the first step in improving our situation. To take action we must first know what we can and can’t do and that is different for everyone but there are some universal rules to this:

What can you action and what can’t you?

  1. The Impossible: Some things really are impossible. Inspirational speakers and other motivators have been shouting ‘anything is possible!’ from the rooftops for decades. It is hard to go on the web these days and not see some variation of this somewhere. However, it’s not entirely true.  There are at least three things we can not do:
    1. We can not defy the laws of physics: This is common sense but warrants mentioning. There is no point wasting your time trying to invent a time machine if time travel is not possible according to the laws of physics.
    2. Human Law: Laws exist to help create a safe and peaceful environment. We can defy the law if we want to but we must be ready to face the consequences both legally and with our conscience.
    3. Ethics: Another we can defy but shouldn’t. This is listed as impossible because in ideal circumstances we would never defy our own moral code.
  2. Nearly Impossible: Even though we can not fly to the moon unassisted we could follow a career path that makes going to the moon a possibility. We could go to university, we could become a pilot or an astrophysicist and then we could apply to NASA, we could get accepted for a manned flight to the moon and achieve the goal of going to the moon. This is a good example of a nearly impossible goal. It is seemingly impossible but not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
  3. Very Unlikely: The first stage within the scale of possibilities in which an idea, action or goal becomes achievable. When something is very unlikely the odds are very against a person trying to change a situation or achieve a goal but this can still become a reality with proper strategies and perseverance.
  4. Unlikely: This is the stage in the realm of possibilities in which have a very real opportunity to make something happen despite the odds being against it.
  5. Likely: At this stage there is no apparent reason to believe something won’t happen. We, generally speaking, don’t need to do anything to bring about the event or goal we desire.
  6. Very Likely: At this stage of possibility an action or circumstance has strong outside factors helping it become even a reality.
  7. Certain: Even external factors are unlikely to prevent this from happening. The sun rising or babies being born are good examples of things that are certain to happen everyday.

It can be difficult trying to determine how possible goal or action is but when that goal or action is important we really need to understand how possible it is. Once we know this we can use

goal setting

strategies to achieve our desired ends. The most basic strategy is to simply list obstacles

and use our critical thinking skills to determine whether or not those obstacles can be bypassed.  It’s also important to remember that time and circumstance can change how possible something is so even if it is impossible now we can always reassess later and so have no reason to give up something completely. That fact will keep us motivated and a little bit more hopeful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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