Posted on 04 February 2016

Sometimes the word is used to describe a goal that is believed to be unattainable. Sometimes it is used to describe a difficult job that requires time, thought, effort, and ingenuity combined with the will to achieve.

Whether used to describe something for which we do not currently have the knowledge or technology to achieve, or simply a term referring to the perceived difficulty of a particular goal, the word carries a lot of weight. I thought is might be interesting to look at what some notable individuals thought of the concept.

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small people who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given rather 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.”

Attributed to Muhammad Ali

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”


G.M. Trevelyn

“Women, like men should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”

Amelia Earhart

“The word impossible is not in my dictionary.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.”

Spencer Silver, on work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M “Post-It” notes.

“Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.”

Louis D Brandeis

“The young do not know enough to be prudent therefore they attempt the impossible…. and achieve it generation after generation.”

Pearl S. Buck

“Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.”

Jonathan Winters

“Listen to the musn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me……Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."

Shel Silverstein

And, I’ll leave the final word to the modern grandfather of wishing on a star and making dreams come true…….

Walt Disney

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

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