3 Steps to Motivating Yourself and Others To Reach For The Stars In Believing The Impossible Is Possible
Aiden’s vision was to make his town a great place to live, work and visit.
Originally both a port town and a market town, over the years, it had gradually gone into decline. The town had been hit badly by the recession throughout the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. The fertiliser plant that had once employed the majority of the community had gone into liquidation. This had a domino effect in closing down many of the town businesses. People had been forced to leave in search of work.
While Aiden loved his town because it was his home, there was nothing particularly special about it. But he believed there could be. He believed the town had potential to be a great place to live, work and visit.
He also knew it would take a lot to make that happen, and he knew he couldn’t do it alone. He needed support from the community. And so, he took the first step of what would become the three steps that motivated himself and others to reach for the stars in believing the impossible is possible.
1. Aiden articulated his big vision: To make their town a great place to live, work and visit.
Aiden presented his plan of where he believed they could go in making this happen and how they would get there. He had defined a clear starting point and detailed action steps along the way that would help to keep them focussed on the big picture.
When challenged with arguments such as; ‘we’ve tried this before, it never worked.’ He responded by stressing that it would take time. How in the past, attempts were abandoned because people had overestimated what they could accomplish in one year, and when they didn’t achieve that, they became despondent and gave up. He believed this had caused people to underestimate what together they could achieve in three, five years or ten years. He said the missing link for previous attempts was connecting every step to form a clear path to their end destination. Keeping their big vision at the forefront of people’s minds was imperative to ensure everyone knew what they were striving for.
2. Aiden broke his vision into smaller steps.
Aiden’s starting point, he believed, was both simple and achievable. The town needed a makeover. It looked and felt very dreary. It emitted a sense that people didn’t care or take pride in the place they lived. He suggested the community come together to first tidy and clean and then repair and paint to give the town a facelift.
Aiden knew that the only way to reach a big vision was to take small steps. These small steps empowered people. Over the course of just four weekends, the work they had done together in brightening up the town gave them a sense of pride, accomplishment and drive in believing they could make their town a great place to live, work and visit.
Aiden then began what would become a continuous practice. He made sure they celebrated each win. This led to step:
3. Aiden led them in focusing on what went right.
Together they acknowledged this. People focused on the positives, praising what had worked. Recognising their combined success at this initial stage empowered them to know that come hell or high water, they were going to make it work.
And make it work they did. Fast forward five years, and with every step along their journey, they are getting closer to achieving their vision. The town now has a lovely vibe to it. It looks and feels great. Local people continue to invest their time in the different projects that contribute to that. The local council and businesses continue to invest the money needed to fund those projects.
Each initiative along the way is opening up more employment and bringing jobs and people back to the town.
The community is supporting their local businesses. The town is attracting visitors coming to see the boats that are once again docked in the port, spending time in the revamped marina with its restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
Their next step is to reopen the train station that had served both passengers and freight back in its heyday. It had once been an important link to other parts of the country. A link that the townspeople now want to restore.
Because of the three simple steps that Aiden had initiated in motivating himself and others in reaching for the stars, the vision that once seemed impossible no longer seems that way.
As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.
The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.
I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.
Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.
My book, Your WorkLife Your Way, focuses on helping you live your best WorkLife by managing your learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful questions and the ability to shape and tell your unique story. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.