This past week I came across a logic puzzle; one that’s linked to an unsolved murder case from the 90’s. The FBI has been working on cracking this cryptogram since then. They’ve invested some high-powered hours and recruited the best minds in the country to attempt to make sense of it. There are a million things about the case that don’t add up, not the least of which is this note.
While our country’s top analysts were working on this note I was playing hopscotch and learning to read. I’ve solved maybe three cryptograms in my life, including the challenge that the FBI gives you to see if you “have what it takes” to be helpful to them in this case. Nevertheless, I printed them out and started thinking about the challenge. It only took a few minutes for me to question what I thought I was doing. Did I somehow believe that I was going to be able to outsmart hundreds of trained professionals with a few minutes of time on the couch with a cup of tea?
Honestly, no. I’m not that delusional, or that cocky. I am acutely aware of my limitations; mental, emotional, and in determination. My excitement for the topic at hand, my compassion for the victim, my curiosity and my deep rooted love of a good logic puzzle suspended my belief that I won’t succeed and my fear of failure for long enough for me to want to try.
Like I said, I only sat with it for a few minutes before moving on to the next thing, with thoughts in my head that I was silly for thinking I could solve this complex problem that no one else has solved yet. A few days later my husband said something that I’ve been thinking about ever since. He said
“You know, I think you could be the only person in the country who could figure that out. I think you should keep at it”.
I was inspired.
Someone had almost absurd confidence in me, in the face of all the obvious reasons my work would be unsuccessful.
I was challenged.
This thing that had so intrigued me and captured my attention was still out there, waiting for me to attempt it again.
I was empowered.
In two sentences he had given me permission to follow this random rabbit trail, worry this frayed end of string in the fabric of life, and see if it didn’t unravel. I felt all the power of the expression “borrowing belief”. He spoke into my life a power that I didn’t even knew I possessed.
I’d like to return the favor.
My dear reader, I think you are the only one in the world who can do the thing you are thinking and hoping and wishing to do. You are the only one uniquely designed to handle it. Your mind is the only one that has the particular set of skills, the right passion, the ability to handle the challenges. Your heart is the only one big enough to hold the project, strong enough to keep going. Your group of friends are exactly the people you need to get started, and the ones coming along the way are the only ones who can help you make it happen.
I think you should keep at it. Pick it up again. Take another look. Find another mentor who knows what to do. Take another course, get that certificate, find another investor, whatever you need to do to let yourself give this thing another shot.
Because believe it or not, this is exactly the case. All dreams and plans and inspirations are a long shot. The things you currently love came into existence from even slimmer odds. I believe in you, all that you have and all that you are. You can make pure magic, so here’s your permission to believe the impossible! I’m believing it too 🙂