Mission difficult

In one of the Mission Impossible movies, Tom Cruise’s character shares his incredulity when he first learns of his new assignment, to which his boss replies: “This is not mission difficult, Mr. Hunt, it’s mission impossible. Difficult should be a walk in the park for you.”

For the rest of us, making a real difference in the world, whether it’s confronting injustice, creating something remarkable in the business world or facing our inner demons, is rarely, if ever, easy.

It’s one thing to want something to be different. It’s another to do the hard work to make it so.

Innovators face doubters, defenders of the status quo and envious trolls at virtually every step. You don’t have to like it, but you do need to accept it if you want to make a difference.

But unlike Mr. Hunt, you don’t have to sign up to do the impossible. Continuing to work harder and harder desperately wishing something were so, is to deny reality. And a prescription for much unhappiness. Trust me, I’ve been there far too many times.

Having the wisdom to discern between mission impossible and mission difficult is crucial.

And once done, it’s time to start.

What better time than now?

4 thoughts on “Mission difficult

  1. I like this post! It speaks to self-awareness about what is possible…and what is just about banging your head against a wall. And yes, we’ve all been there…

  2. Steve, don’t you mean, “And a prescription for much UNhappiness”?

    Nice commentary, I enjoy reading your clear, crisp thoughts.

    John Thorbeck, HBS ’80

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