I was flipping through a book about the Wright Brothers this past weekend and was surprised to learn that many people during that period of time thought that flying machines were flat-out impossible, and especially ones with humans in them. About two months ago, I was "researching" in the bookstore and just flipped open to the passage by Wayne Dyer I quote below. I was feeling particularly lost and focused (ok, I was wallowing) on what I didn't have instead of placing my focus squarely on what I wanted to accomplish. Reading the passage was a reminder that I also had to let go of judging what I did want to do as impractical or too ambitious and beyond my understanding of just exactly how it was even doable. (That's what "how" questions are for.)
I used to white-water kayak. One thing I learned was that when I focused on the rocks, or the big sucking hole behind the rock, or the log jams which were called strainers is that the boat tended to head right for what I was terrified of if that's what I was looking at. A fellow kayaker taught me it was a much safer practice to focus solely on your "line", or the route that you were aiming for.
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, The Royal Society of London, June 1985
"A man-carrying airplane will eventually be built, but only if mathematicians and engineers work steadily for the next one to ten million years." - New York Times editorial, December 1903
"Man will fly, but the craft will be the size of a matchbox and cary an insect for a passenger." - Simon Newcomb, respected scientific authority, December 1903
"It is my belief that flight is possible." - Wilbur Wright, bicycle builder, May 1900
"The law of flotation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things, but by contemplating the floating of things which floated naturally, and then intelligently asking why they did so." -- Thomas Troward
"In the early days of shipbuilding, ships were made of wood, and the reasoning was that wood floats in water and iron sinks. Yet today, ships all over the world are built of iron. As people began studying the law of flotation, it was discovered that anything could float if it's lighter than the mass of liquid it displaces."
"The Wright brothers didn't contemplate the staying on the ground of things. Alexander Graham Bell didn't contemplate the noncommunication of things. In order to float an idea into your reality, you must be willing to do a somersault into the unconceivable and land on your feet, contemplating what you want instead of what you don't have. You'll then start floating your desires instead of sinking them."
-- The Power of Intention, by Wayne Dyer
Because conventions are so ingrained we forget sometimes to think about them, much less challenge them.
Just think about how many of the great inventions in our society came about because someone did not accept an idea that everyone else believed to be true.
-- Buzz: Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand, by Marian Salzman, Ira Matathia and Ann O'Reilly