It seemed impossible. The most experienced white-water paddlers couldn’t navigate the biggest rapid in the river’s racecourse during the practice runs. Convinced it couldn’t be run, and feeling upset and justified, they planned to go to the racecourse architects to demand changes. And then, one young guy in the junior category, taking on the course with confidence and focus, sliced through the racecourse fast and clean—not touching a single gate—even in the course’s most demanding rapid. All of a sudden, what seemed implausible, even impossible, was possible. A dish of “humble pie” was shared by the elite paddlers, and a new set of expectations was raised. Sure enough, others were able to run the whole course with a new strength and grace they hadn’t been able to imagine before.
Breakthroughs of every kind are celebrated. Athletes are continually breaking records, new inventions and discoveries are made every year, and conferences are held around the world to share new ways to solve old problems. Pride, fear, doubt, and a false estimate of our limits are pushed aside in anticipation of the great good that is possible…
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