I recently saw an inspirational story that made me rethink pretty much everything I’m doing right now.
It was a story about Chris Nikic, who crossed the finish line of an Ironman Triathlon and entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the first person with Down’s Syndrome to complete the grueling race. (And, just to be clear, I’m doing well to just get a daily walk in each day.)
If you’re not familiar with an Ironman, it’s 2.4 mile open water swim, a 112-mile bicycle race, and then a 26.22 mile run, raced one after the other, in that order. It’s considered one of the most grueling races on the planet. I’ve supported friends who’ve done one and, well, let’s just say that it was intense.
After Chris finished, he posted this on his Instagram:
What struck me about this post, other than the fact that he’s a total badass, was that while he celebrated the win, he was already focused on a bigger goal for 2021.
“Goal set and achieved. Time to set a new and BIGGER Goal for 2021. Whatever it is the strategy is the same. 1% Better every day. YES, I did the work but I had angels helping me. God surrounded me with Angels. Best part of all. New family and friends. All about awareness and inclusion…”
How did Chris achieve this remarkable feat? He used the 1% better plan, and he envisioned an audacious goal. Here’s how he explains it:
“Road to Ironman started on (#1) Dec 31 at 5:40 PM when my parents asked me to write down my dreams (buy my own car, house and marry a smoking hot blonde) and (#2) my goal (Ironman Florida Nov 7, 2020) and (#3) my plan to Get 1% Better every day for 10 months. Jan 1, I went to work but there were too many distractions so in March God eliminated all my distractions. (School, parties, movies). Some people stayed home. I went out to chase my dreams and goals. It really wasn’t that hard. In December I did a 14 mile sprint triathlon in 2 hours. Then all I did was get 1% better every day for 10 months. Nov 7, I did a 140 mile Ironman in 17 hours. Do you think it was worth it? If I can do this, imagine what you can do? In 2021 I plan on doing it again. I will write down a bigger dream and a bigger goal but the plan will be the same. Get 1% better for 10 months. Anything is Possible.”
As 2020 finally winds down (can you feel the collective heavy sigh?) and we reflect on the year, I want to challenge you to consider whether your goals for 2021 are big enough. Are you picturing a moonshot for 2021 or are you aiming for mediocrity?
To succeed as disruptors, we must envision the impossible for our clients and ourselves, to ask, “How might we?” in bold, creative ways and include the question, “How might I?”
Imagine Your Moonshot
Two years ago, a little-known physician/researcher named Uğur Şahin made a bold prediction to a group of infectious disease experts: His company, BioNTech, could use Messenger RNA technology to rapidly develop a vaccine in a global pandemic.
At the beginning of 2020, few of us had ever heard of Dr. Şahin’s company or his claim for changing the world of vaccinations.
Now, of course, we’re well aware of who he is because Dr. Şahin’s technology and partnership with Pfizer created a vaccine for COVID-19 that is 95% effective, even in older adults.
What might the world be like right now if people like Dr. Şahin weren’t dreaming big, and as the old saying goes, “shooting for the moon because worst case is we land in the stars!”
Are You Shooting for the Moon or Just the Second Story?
Any of us, even big dreamers and achievers like Chris and Dr. Şahin, can get caught in a trap of setting safe goals that know they can meet. But what else could they, you, or me bring to the world if all of us thought much bigger than that?
For 2021, I challenge you to imagine what you might do and then create a plan to start working at it every day, just like Chris Nikic did. Go for one percent better, and be ready to put in the hard work required to realize the vision.
It’s going to be hard work. The good things usually are. So get started now! Don’t wait until the ball drops to begin formulating your big plans.
To get started planning and achieving your moonshot, ask the following:
- In what way are your beliefs limiting your vision of what you can achieve?
- Who in your community can build your confidence, challenge you, and inspire you? If you can’t think of anyone quickly, make a goal to find a community ASAP.
- What did you achieve or start to achieve in 2020 that can be blown up to something even bigger in 2021?
Once you get through these questions, let me know your big, audacious goals for 2021 and then let me know how I can help you achieve them!
If you’re looking for a community of like-minded people and thought leader experts whose job is literally to help people like you dream bigger for themselves and their projects, check out the Disruptor League Plus. On Tuesday, November 24th at 1:00 p.m. ET, we’ll feature a Disruptor Studio event for developing thought leaders with Janna Sobel on the tools for implied improvisation and storytelling to help you listen, communicate and create!