Book Review: Make the Impossible Possible: One Man''s Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary

I finished reading Make the Impossible Possible: One Man”s Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary ($12 @ Amazon) by Bill Strickland a few weeks ago. I found it browsing at the library and the title definitely caught my attention, and I’m glad it did.

It’s in many ways a biography, with a focus on the Manchester Guild, a non-profit the author founded almost 40 years ago. It starts with a teacher a skill introducing him to pottery and learning that he enjoys it and is good at it, and that gives him something to hold on to, something that starts the growth from lost teen to found man. Life goes along and he finds a way to open up a pottery workshop in his neighborhood (not a good one) and tries to encourage others to grow. There’s a great story about a warm day when he pulls the pottery wheel onto the porch of the house that is the workshop and plays jazz while working, gathering a crowd.

Things happen, he gets involved in job training, and all the while making it mostly work from grants. Then the funds start to shrink and they are danger of closing down for good. Somehow even at that dark time he decides that what they need is a new building, one designed in the Frank Lloyd Wright style. He finds an architect, commits to $10,000 for a design even though he isn’t sure how he will pay for the design,and gets a plan for a building that will cost $5 million to build,and he wants to build in in the ghetto. That’s an enormous dream, but somehow he made it happen, and a lot more besides.

It’s a great story, some interesting lessons, and it made me think, to realize that I’m not dreaming big enough. That’s a powerful message, but it’s not delivered in self-help style, it’s just what he did and why he did it.

Should you read this? I think it’s a great story, good reading for just about anyone, but I think it’s terrific reading if you need to be re-inspired, reminded to dream more, reminded that life isn’t a journey you can map out when you’re 18. I think you’ll enjoy the book.