Trying the Impossible


I looked off the laptop for a few minutes but it ended up being a 120-minute interesting movie experience at home. The title wasn’t very attractive but the storyline caught my fancy. The movie, Gridiron Gang, features the story of some teenagers kept at a juvenile facility for their obviously dangerous lifestyles. The duo who kept them under check, Exhibit and The Rock, toyed with a few ideas on how to keep the boys out of trouble because 75% of them would likely end up in prison after their release, and most of the others in the grave. While trying to convince the facility managers about what should be done, they suggested starting a football team but that sounded too dangerous. In short, it was tagged impossible.

The Rock, in response to the accusation of thinking up an impossible idea, said something amazing: We have to try the impossible because the possible isn’t working! The words came through like they were not some script put together by an Hollywood writer — how very true! I started writing this immediately after that… How many times have we kept trying hard to do things the way the way they’re expected to be done or the way we’ve always tried to do them? I remember those true words about attempts and madness: it is outright madness to do the same things over and again, while expecting different results.

On how many of your involvements have you kept trying to achieve success through the possible? I honestly think it’s time to try the impossible. A few years ago, I was tempted to keep at the possible way of living: graduate, get a job, work hard, earn gbemu (you must be Nigerian to get that), get promoted, settle down, have children, watch them grow, retire, grow old, etc. Now, that sounds very flat when you really think about it, but isn’t that what many of us work hard at when all we do in school is just cram-pass-forget (CPF) for all the courses that come our way? My decision then, in 1999/2000, was to get off that possible CPF model train, and jump onto the back of the impossible.

The impossible, for me at that time, was to dream of a career that would open up Nigeria, Africa and the world to me — for the one simple opportunity of making a difference. It started with the ‘Gbenga Sesan: Strategic Management Plan 2001 – 2005 document (which was written in a notebook, not typed). The horizon got clearer as the years went by, because the major decision to move away from the possible to the impossible was already made. The years 2001 to 2005 proved to be very useful for my career, and I look back now and smile — at times wondering how I ever got around sacrificing the comfortable for the most-likely-not-going-to-be-comfortable-at-first. The successes of those five years informed the very ambitious 2006 – 2015 plan which defines ‘Gbenga Sesan 2.0.

This is clearly not about me alone, but goes to show that we have to try the impossible because the possible isn’t working! I should get back to the movie now…

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