When faced with an impossible situation, what can be done?

I imagine that all of my readers have faced impossible situations, both personally and at work.

Since this is blog about OD, it is so easy to conjure up impossible situations, characterized by poor products, impossible deadlines, poisonous management, a dysfunctional culture or a Board with their heads up their ass.

I am not the kind of person who generally easily accepts boundary conditions or limitations. Quite the opposite as this entire blog indicates, I challenge assumptions and turn over the apple cart quite often. This explains the work I get, the work I do not get, my success stories and failures.

Work and life have taught me to go slower when dealing with hard (for me) situations. Age has been a contributing factor in helping me be realistic. Age has played strange tricks.. As I have aged, I have learnt that if I cannot run 7 days I week, I can run five days a week. And on days when I cannot run 5 kilometers, I can walk 9 kilometers. And after the flu, I may not be able to exercise within a week, but I will be able to do so in a 3 weeks, or a month.

But what about impossible situations?  I think that I am making progress here as well, thanks to Shyka.

Shyka is a dog with a psychiatric depressive disorder. He takes massive amounts of anti depressants and the meds have stabilized him. Having torn up the living room of his past 4 owners due to anxiety attacks when left alone , Shyka lives in a well kept kennel. He has been without an owner for 2 years. Every Sunday, I take Shyka for a long walk in the framework of volunteer work that I do.

Entering the kennel is very very hard for me; the barking of the many abandoned dogs breaks my heart every time I pick up Shyka for his weekly walk. Shyka awaits me with the saddest of eyes .I know that he only gets walked 3 times a week. I know that the medicines that have placated him are also killing him. And I know that Shyka will never have another owner.

Shyka however has taught me that when everything seems impossible, do what is possible.

And when I walk him back to the kennel, I am at peace with myself. I have done what I can.

By the way. Shyka loves the bones I bring him, and slowly, he is showing me affection, not an easy feat for a dog who has been abandoned so many times.

You are my boy, Shyka.



Smelling the land



שייקה ידידי My friend Shyka


Dec 2 2014

Update Jan 2015

My daughter just smsed me that Shaika has been adopted and is living in Tel Aviv.

Some stories have really happy endings. Here is Shaiya resting, and putting on the Ritz.



At rest-בא מרגוע לעמל



Putting on the ritz-חתיך




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8 thoughts on “When faced with an impossible situation, what can be done?

  1. Lovely post, Allon. It moved me. Yes we all face the impossible at times in our lives, sometimes as OD consultants, sometimes in our personal lives. A quote I like: “The difficult we do at once; the impossible takes a bit longer.” Not sure where it is from. But i like it. Seems to fit the work we do.

  2. A wonderful reflection that, as Terrence says, has universal applicability in life and in work. “Doing the needful” often means “doing what you can.”

  3. A very moving story Allon – thank you. … “when everything seems impossible, do what is possible”. Such soothing words that can serve to mobile us. One of your very best posts I reckon!

  4. Seems obvious to me. You’re clearly helping Shyka greatly.

    I guess I’ve always “done what I can”. That often turns out to be a lot more than I or anyone else imagined.

  5. so touched by your story with deep reflection, especially read through it when I feel down about difficulties. Do what I can and say no to give up. Thanks, my dear mentor.

  6. Thank you all for your comments. This week on the day when I took Shyka for his walk it suddenly became very hot for a brief period of time, which happens in the autumn. Now I love the heat, but I was dressed for autumn, so I had to sit down and take a break after 2 miles.
    Shyka jumped on my lap, and licked my face! First real display of love.

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