1. take control
2. escape the pit
3. climb the mountain
4. leave a fingerprint
The third phase, “Climb the Mountain,” is about getting into a position to make your desired mark on the world.
Question #1: What specific impact do you want to have?
Who or what will be different because of you? The possibilities are endless and the decision is yours.
Whatever goal you choose will most likely reflect your strengths (see Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath) and your passion, i.e. what you strongly care about.
Here are just a few examples of what a person could want to do with their life:
- promote literacy
- raise money for research to cure cancer
- standardize a renewable source of energy for transportation
- end child sex trafficking in Cambodia
- reform campaign financing policies
- help individuals to achieve their optimal health
Hopefully, this list gets you excited about some of the possibilities of what you can accomplish with your life.
Question #2: What things will you need in order to make that specific impact?
This list could vary greatly and depends on the goal, but it might include things like access to resources, key relationships, knowledge, specific training, or money.
You will also want to consider if you plan to work alone or with other people. If you can’t do it alone, can you collaborate with an existing organization or would it be better to start a new one?
Expect to have to do plenty of research to answer this question and the next one, too.
Question #3: What specific steps do you needed to take to get those things?
Now it’s time to take your goal out of the clouds and start making them a reality. Mapping out the steps necessary is essential for making it happen.
Whether it’s a college degree, volunteering down the street, starting a blog, or developing a relationship with specific individuals, you’ll need to write it all down and make a plan to do it.
One final aspect to consider is timing.
There are some goals a person could start working on right away. Other goals may require a lot more time in preparation. For example, experience may be a crucial element and it always takes some time to gain experience.
Now is the perfect time to explore, try out new things, learn, and grow. As you “climb the mountain” you can expect to make mistakes along the way and you can learn invaluable lessons from them. Trial and error is an excellent teacher.
Shakespeare said “it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” In the same spirit, we say that it’s better to have made a mistake and learned from it than never to have tried anything new at all.