Most People Tell You How Things Cannot Be Done…be Tom Sawyer or Winston Wolfe.

That cannot be done. Thats impossible. You’re asking too much.  Can’t do that.  Won’t do that.  Here’s why thats wrong.  Stop wasting your time.  You’re a fool for trying….the list goes on.

Any of those sound familiar?

In relationships, most people will explain all the reasons why some idea is wrong, some dream cannot be accomplished, some structure cannot be built, they’ll feel personally assaulted, they don’t like your method or tone or why its a waste of your time to even try.

Before you jump to the conclusion that this is a some inspiring cliche on why that isn’t true…instead question:

why do most people go there?

answer: Its easier.

Its easier to complain. grumble. be a consumer. get lost in the details. do the same old.  


The parables of Winston Wolfe and Tom Sawyer.

Influence Your Followers:

Tom Sawyers story (HERE) is a classic tale of making something appealing by influencing peoples psyche to desire the thing that is in actuality undesirable.  People seem to go to the ends of the earth if they think that something is unreachable or unobtainable.  It will motivate them beyond normal capacities and creativity will flow.

leader is a man who has the ability to get people to do what they don’t want to do and like it. Harry S Truman.

See the Urgency of your Problem:

Check video below.  Be aware, intense language is used.  F word is used 4 times.


Vincent and Jules have a problem.   The wolf comes in and solves the dilemma.  He wants to know the background to the situation and begins to think and act quick to determine what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.  He provides viable solutions to an urgent situation.  Vincent responds as most might by grumbling, complaining and asking why this person thinks that they know so much.  Rather than address the idea of the problem people will go to personal issues.

Vincent says, “a please would be nice”.  Winstons response…”get it straight buster, Im not here to say please, Im here to tell you what to do…and if self preservation is an instinct you possess you better do it quick.”

Continue to point people to the urgency of the problem and how it affects them and help them see that they would be better off being part of the solution than a part of continuing the problem.  Encourage them to “paint the fence” with you because its really a special thing to be apart of and “clean the car” because if you don’t there may be problems for you in the future.

Have you ever experienced some one telling you something couldn’t be done?  How did you help turn them to becoming a believer?  


6 thoughts on “Most People Tell You How Things Cannot Be Done…be Tom Sawyer or Winston Wolfe.

  • David, I enjoyed this post.

    I recently laid out my plan of turning my dream into my day job. When I was through their response was simple, “I don’t think there is any money in that.”

    I knew I was on the right path because their words didn’t discourage me–they simply motivated me. I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m committed.

    Keep up the great work on your blog. I’ve enjoyed looking around tonight.

    • Larry- good stuff man thanks for contributing. There seems to be a balance for me in hearing peoples thoughts…sometimes they have some really good advice even if its tough to hear at times, and then there are other times where they are simply unwilling to go places that will produce fruit if pursued.

      Lean into critics but don’t lean so far that you cant get back out but don’t keep so far away that you miss nuggets of truth that they might be able to share.

      Thanks for contributing Larry thanks for your thoughts!

  • I’ve been dealing with a situation just this morning and this advice is right on target for me:

    “Continue to point people to the urgency of the problem and how it affects them and help them see that they would be better off being part of the solution than a part of continuing the problem.”

    Thank you. Now I’m off to click on the video…

    • Lisa! you are too kind 🙂 love the journey called life where we can challenge and encourage each other and hope that video wasn’t TOO offensive. its a clip from a movie called Pulp Fiction which though vulgar– has bits and pieces of good ideas laced in it 🙂

  • This seems to be the ringing anthem that my kids sing to me on daily basis. I say something like “make your bed” and they respond with “I don’t know how” or simply “I can’t” At first I’m tempted to say, “OK, fine I’ll do it for you” or “I’ll show you how”. However my years as a parent has taught me that 95% of the time when my kids tell me they can’t what they really mean is that they don’t want to do it. I think the same goes for adults. So often we say “can’t” because deep down inside we’re just afraid to do it, afraid of the work, afraid of the results. When we change our desires we also change are perspectives on the problems before us.

    • Love it Caleb! Change our desires feels like a whole new blog post- change out desires and it seems naturally and intuitively will create solutions to figure things out 🙂 On a different note why I hate accountability groups—seems to always focus on problem instead of changing desires for the solution aka jesus 🙂

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