Is There A Benefit From Trying To Do The Impossible?

There are goals in life that range from the easy to the difficult to the impossible. Is there value in doing things in each?

For the easy tasks or goals, they certainly seem worthwhile. If you can accomplish a series of easy tasks and show incremental progress, they can add up to significant steps forward. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Similarly, difficult tasks occasionally need to be undertaken. And while they might be challenging, and might even lead to failure, when they are accomplished it can be very rewarding. In addition, attempting something that is difficult can offer us the opportunity to grow and reach our potential.

But what about the impossible? If we can never accomplish something, is there anything to be gained from the attempt? Is there a benefit from trying to do the impossible?

This also raises another question: how can we categorize a task that we are about to undertake? How can we tell if something is going to be easy or difficult? Or difficult versus impossible? Are we able to know, with any accuracy, what’s impossible and what’s not?

In addition, are there different levels of impossible? Where do we draw the line between noble and foolhardy, when it comes to the impossible? Achieving world peace seems impossible, but the attempt might be considered valuable. It is not possible, in contrast, for me to jump to the moon. Is it foolish of me to try?

Or another example: there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. The laws of thermodynamics prohibit it. Is there anything to be gained from trying to build one? Or is it a waste of time and effort that could be going to a better-chosen task?

Related questions: How do you define success? How do we know what we don’t know? What is the greatest problem facing humanity? Is understanding possible?