Goals: One Red Paperclip

Have you heard of the red paperclip story? Every Friday I receive an email from Robert Glazer, who is known for his Friday Froward emails – they’re quite inspiring and thought provoking – you can find them here http://www.fridayfwd.com/.

The other week Robert featured a story about Kyle MacDonald, a young Canadian blogger who traded a red paperclip until he traded for a house. Yes, he started with a paperclip and ended up with a house.

Kyle started the project based on the childhood game, Bigger, Better, where you start with one item, and trade for something better, then you repeat for as long as you want to. In one year, he traded his red paperclip for a fish shaped pen, before trading the pen for a hand sculpted doorknob. Some of the larger trades included a year’s rent in Phoenix, a recording contract, an afternoon with Alice Cooper and lastly, a two story house in Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada.

One red paperclip house

Amazing right? What I love about this story, is that Kyle shows that if you have a goal, you can make it happen – you just need to be creative and optimistic enough to create the goal, and determined enough to make it happen.  Read more Kyle’s trades and One Red Paperclip here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_red_paperclip.

Some may refer to Kyle’s goal as being a BHAG – a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, a concept penned in a book by James Collins and Jerry Porras back in 1994.  A BHAG is one that is visionary, a bit audacious to outsiders, yet achievable to insiders. For example, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has a BHAG to “Enable human exploration and settlement of Mars”. To many of us, it may seem far-fetched, perhaps impossible, but for SpaceX, it’s a reality they are working towards everyday.

We can create and experience amazing things – our goals are only limited by our own vision, imagination, and determination. Setting goals is great, but sometimes we ought to step back and consider for a moment, that perhaps we aren’t thinking as big as we could be. As we step into 2018, do you have a BHAG?

Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask, Why not? George Bernard Shaw

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