Up until Roger Bannister ran a mile in under 4 minutes in 1954, it was collectively believed to be a physical impossibility.
So few people bothered to try!
But within six weeks of Bannister doing the “impossible,” John Landy broke the record by nearly a second.
Most of us have no idea about what is actually possible. Likewise, when we use absolute terms as descriptors, we fall into what’s known as a “linguistic trap”—confining ourselves to the walls our words create.
Hence, words like always, never and impossible can be very self-limiting and should be used cautiously.
- Margie Warrell (modified by Amr Badran)