Those boxing fans out there will know that this famous statement was coined by Muhammed Ali who in turn was paraphrasing Albert Einstein. What they were both expressing was their absolute conviction that the only limiting factor in the sphere of possibility is the limitations imposed by our own thoughts and belief. In other words, if we think it is possible, it becomes so.
Nowhere is this more relevant than in the field of health and medicine. So often the beliefs we maintain about any given disease, condition or statistic act within us to make that belief become reality. Unfortunately this is often in the negative context for example; a terminal cancer patient is given six months to live and predictably dies in exactly six month’s time. They thought it, believed it and so it happened.
The current medical paradigm is largely plagued by this problem. In the religion of academic medicine, statistics are the highest deity and are worshipped above all else. If the research states that coronary artery disease, for example, is progressive and reversible, then exclusively and in all people with the disease, that will be the case. Such a belief system prevails only in the absence of an alternative. Alternatives are coming thick and fast.
In the isolated example of coronary artery disease, the highest level of clinical research has now shown, conclusively, that through diet and lifestyle modifications, it IS possible to reverse irreversible heart disease. Out with the old and in with the new.
It seems the flood gates are opening and a new paradigm is taking hold. This paradigm states that nothing is impossible because the research shows that everything is possible. People with terminal metastatic cancer have gone into complete remission. People with motor neurons disease have lived a long and full life. The human body has successfully destroyed the HIV AIDS virus. There is nothing so say that in the future, near or distant, a whole raft of progressive and irreversible diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and stage 4 cancer won’t, like coronary artery disease, be re-labelled as reversible.
But for that to happen there is a caveat. And that caveat is that the ability to do so won’t come from external approaches like drugs and surgery, those things may help, but the most crucial factor is the internal ones - namely our belief system. The rapidly expanding field of quantum physics/medicine is showing that the thoughts we generate can have overwhelmingly powerful impacts upon our physiology and bio-chemistry. If we think it and if we believe it, the chances are that the body will pick up those belief, run with them and turn them into physical reality.
Every month we read, in the medical press, reports and case studies of people who become exceptional. These are the people with life threatening diseases who beat the odds to overcome both their disease and the dark statistics that accompany it. But occasionally, I get the privilege of meeting and working with such a person in the flesh. This has recently happened to me and what a privilege it is. This was a person who was prepared to fight tooth and nail to regain health. This was a person who was prepared to question the status quo. A person who respected the opinions and statistics of their oncologist but refused to believe them. Instead they chose to acknowledge a different reality, a reality that said anything is possible, that they can and will overcome their disease and live the life of their dreams. More crucially, they cultivated a deep and unshakeable belief in those convictions and through their own determination carved their own path of treatment alongside conventional options.
This person has overhauled their diet, introduced a structured routine of meditation and exercise and most crucially taken control of their mind, adopting thoughts and processes to instate a true sense of belief that they will be well. Each day they address being positive through a structured routine of guided imagery. They have been open to using Ayurvedic medicine and different supplements as a means of boosting their immune system and helping their body be stronger and fiercer against cancer. Interestingly at many stages along the way they have not been supported by the main stream health professionals but regardless of this, have had the strength and belief to look outside the box and be open to complementary care. And in this case, it paid off - a virulent, aggressive and progressive cancer was beaten into almost total remission, and this one is a complicated cancer, one that has involved extreme surgeries and life changing results, yet this person has had results this week that have astounded and thrilled many, including the conventional doctors.
Albert Einstein and Muhammed Ali, two contrasting characters who absolutely fascinate me, shared the common conviction that impossible is nothing. I too hold onto that belief and it shapes every aspect of my work and life. This week I am thrilled to say I saw impossible become possible. Impossible sometime is indeed nothing.