Doing what you can’t…

Contributing Editor

Walt Pickut

If you can’t do it, you’ll probably do it better than you thought you could. And maybe even better than anybody else.

That’s the nice thing about “can’t.” If you use your can’ts the right way, can’t is just the temporary name for what you’re going to succeed at next.

Every successful person started by doing something they never did before—something they could not do—until they did it.

And even the best try to get better at something else they cannot yet do.

  • Think Tennis. Novak Djokovic, Boris Becker, and Roger Federer—among the world’s top-ranked players—still rely on coaches, former professionals who were once the best in the sport themselves.
  • Think football. A quarterback coach works on the quarterback’s footwork, passing, and throwing, even for the best of them. Every NFL team has one.
  • Think music. Legendary singers like Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand as well as many of today’s rock bands use voice coaches.

My point is that, if you’re ambitious, success is only the start, not the end.

“If you want to succeed,” said John D. Rockefeller, widely considered the wealthiest American of all time and the richest person in modern history, “you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”

That’s also our take-away for this week’s Jamestown Gazette. Our page-1 story about Jamestown’s election to the Babe Ruth World Series started with people who simply couldn’t do it—and did!

According to Russell E. Diethrick, Jr., president of the Jamestown’s series hosting team when it all began:

“We signed that first contract, but we had no idea (about how to run a World Series)…It was just that skill and willingness as a team to approach the unknown and react to what we had to do at that time.” [Emphasis added]

Diethrick and his people admitted that they had some thoughts, some experience in organizing recreational sports, and some of what they called “maybes,” but they really had no idea what they were getting into.

That means the unknown and a “can’t” are the perfect starting place for success. Given those, you’ll try harder than anybody else, especially somebody who already knows it all.

So, here’s our take away for this week. Given any desire you have to learn and grow, and a refusal to be a blamer or a victim, your “can’t” will never stop you.

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible,” said Nobel Prize winning scientist Arthur C. Clarke, is to go beyond them into the impossible.” Echoing the thought, evangelist and author, Charles R. Swindoll, said, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

This week, join us in thanking the Babe Ruth World Series for inspiring us, generations past, and generations to come, that doing what you can’t is clearly the best thing you can do.*

Enjoy the read,

Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor

*PS And don’t forget to reward yourself for all the hard work. The road to success needs rest stops and one of this summer’s best for your well-earned relaxation and rest is the Warren County Fair. Your ticket is waiting. Read all about it here in your Jamestown Gazette.

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.