One of my favorite musical recordings is Richard Kiley singing The Impossible Dream in the original cast performance of “The Man of La Mancha”. Don Quixote sings about his impossible dream and the resolve he brings to attaining it:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star
What is your impossible dream? The one that defines you and your purpose but eludes you?
Perhaps you have dismissed your dream as truly impossible, or banished it to a faraway land called someday.
At some point in your life, your impossible dream filled your thoughts as you fell asleep each night. Perhaps no longer. Perhaps too much has happened and those days are long gone.
Never give up on your dreams. Your dreams are what make life worth living.
It’s time to begin your journey. It’s time, right now, to set forth towards your unreachable star so that when you are laid to rest, your heart will be peaceful and calm.
Go back in your mind to the place where your dream was exciting and real. Remember how exciting that felt and feel that way again. Sing about it. Affirm that nothing will stop you. This is your quest, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far.
To reach your impossible dream, you need that kind of unassailable determination because without it, you won’t get out of your comfort zone and do the things you need to do. You won’t risk rejection and ridicule and you won’t keep going when pain and frustration make you want to give up.
Don Quixote was thought to be crazy. You need to be a little crazy to accomplish your impossible dream.
Then, prepare for the journey. Research, study, practice. Find your Sancho to travel with you.
Or just start. Put one foot in front of the other, and then do it again.
Work on your dream every day until it becomes a part of your routine. John Grisham developed the writing habit by committing to writing every day, even if only 5 minutes, no matter how busy he was with his law practice.
Some days you’ll do a lot. Some days not so much. But if you work on it every day, you will make progress. You’ll get better, and faster. Eventually, your efforts will compound and you will see meaningful progress towards your destination.
Keep going and the pace of your progress will accelerate. Before you know it, what was once an impossible dream will be a foreseeable reality.
You might tilt at windmills along the way, but that’s how you will find your unreachable star.