Honest Intent Inspires Authentic Goals

We create our future in the present moment, so it is extremely important for us to be honest with both our current situation and what we are willing to do to achieve our dreams.

Intentions influence our actions and behaviors. If intentions are established with awareness, truth, and meaning, they help us experience a life filled with passion and personal fulfillment. Lack of understanding around our true intentions often causes frustration and confusion, which is one reason people oftentimes do not achieve their goals. Many goals are written; however, they are not established with honest intent. It’s time to get brutally honest about your true intentions so you can achieve authentic goals.

Honest intentions become even more important as we age; Our well-being depends on our ability to be authentic and true to ourselves.

Intentions have the power to strengthen your Inner Leader and help you move forward in a meaningful way as long as they represent what you truly want to accomplish and experience. Honest intentions, based on personal fulfillment and purpose, can also keep you motivated and focused while measuring progress and celebrating success.

What we truly intend will happen, so I encourage my coaching clients to create SMARTER Intention Statements that support their personal vision.

Create Your Vision to Guide Your Intentions

When working with clients, I encourage them to create the time and space to create what I call a Vivid Visual Vision.   Why?  When done with emotion and intention, a Vivid Visual Vision serves as a guide. It helps transform your mind and beliefs if it has the following elements:

Vivid:  Authentic, clear and powerful emotionally, physically and spiritually. 

Visual:  Imagery that clearly illustrates your wants, needs and desires.

Vision:  Your intentional and holistic dream of the future.  

This process can also help uncover what might be hiding below the surface of who and where you are right now —your personal truth and deepest desires. An honest vision also helps guide the SMARTER Intention process and goal setting. Your intentions and goals help create the present that supports your purposeful future – your vision.

SMARTER Intentions

So, what exactly are SMARTER Intentions? They are statements designed to help you achieve your vision while holding your accountable and having some fun along the way because they are Super Cool, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evolved, and Rewarded. Let’s explore SMARTER Intentions in greater detail:

What we intend will happen. Actions support honest intentions; therefore, all true intent is realized. Intentions become the outcome.

What we intend will happen. Actions support honest intentions; therefore, all true intent is realized. Intentions become the outcome.

Super Cool: Write SMARTER intention statements that clearly outline what you truly need and want to do to make your vision a reality. Make sure you think they are super cool! Personalize your intentions so they tap into your sense of personal fulfillment and passion. What does this mean? You should get totally jazzed about your SMARTER intentions when you read and revisit them. Being true to your passion and purpose will help you stay motivated and focused!

Measurable: Take charge of your progress by building in accountability. Use metrics, numbers and other fun ways to monitor your progress (I like to use stars and smiley faces . Monitoring progress helps you determine what works and what needs change. Great metrics also provide a feedback mechanism that super-charges motivation. Realize your progress so you can celebrate success!

Achievable: Create SMARTER Intention Statements that seem doable to you. Each statement is a step forward. Small consistent steps are the key to accomplishing big dreams!

Relevant: Intention statements should move you forward in a way that holds meaning to you. Make sure your Intentions are specific enough to keep you focused yet cool enough to inspire action. Great intention statements support your vision and build on one another. Relevance is focus combined with synergy.

Time bound: Each Intention should be completed in an established time frame. When will you accomplish your Intention? Set a date and establish a time line. Use time as an effective tool to build in accountability and to monitor progress.

Evolved: Your SMARTER Intentions must be designed to fulfill your life vision. Revisit them often (daily, weekly and monthly) to make sure they are still working for you. How do you feel when you reach a goal? If it feels right, you are on target. If something feels off, it may be time to make adjustments. These are your intentions, so be true to yourself and make them work for you! Performance based on passion equals success!

Rewarded: This is the best part of a SMARTER Intention! Celebrations help us realize our progress while building momentum and motivation. How will you celebrate achieving your Intention? Be creative and have fun with this one. Recognize your accomplishments and share your wins with others. Go wild with confidence and celebrate each success!

It’s Time for a Little Practice!

Find a quiet spot where you can still your mind and center your thoughts. If this is new to you, a quick and effective way to center yourself is: 1) close your eyes in a quite place, 2) take 3-4 full, deep breaths (a great way to take full deep breaths is by taking air in through the nose and releasing it out through the mouth making a constant “S” sound) and 3) slowly opening your eyes. Invest some focused time in honestly creating SMARTER Intention Statements that serve as a map on your journey to achieving your personal vision. Your SMARTER Intentions should be Super Cool, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evolved, and Rewarded.

Coaching Tip: Get Creative & Have Fun!


Pictures truly have the power to speak a thousand words. Use images, pictures, stickers, colors and whatever other images or visuals that move you. Using both words and images stimulates your whole brain and is an extremely powerful way to establish SMARTER Intention Statements. Your smarter Intentions may end up being a collage of images with a few words. Be creative and have fun!

The table below is a coaching tool designed to get you started. Remember, what we truly intend will happen. Have some fun with this exercise. Also, make sure you are true to yourself and find fulfillment and meaning in each statement. Write as many SMARTER Intentions as you need. The table below is only a guide with an example of one of my SMARTER Intention Statements for 2021.

SMARTER Intention StatementDue DateReward
1I will create 52 posts based on the most common and profound client questions and challenges in 2021December 31, 2021Social media themed party with my family!
2
3
4
5
SMARTER Intentions Coaching Guide and Example

Final Coaching Tips on Setting SMARTER Intentions

Remember, this life is your journey. If you need to make changes to your SMARTER Intention Statements, do it. If something doesn’t feel right, fix it. Intentions should be set for you as an individual and based on personal fulfillment, not simply on what you think you should do based on the thoughts and influences of others or society. Your intentions serve as motivation and the source of actions and behaviors. Be brutally honest with yourself when setting SMARTER Intentions. Truly meaningful intentions are powerful and have the potential to grow your Inner Leader and your life.

What you truly intend will happen; therefore, your SMARTER Intentions must be based on your personal truth. Intentions become goals; therefore, honest intentions inspire authentic goals. The more genuine you are about experiencing your SMARTER Intentions, the more likely you are to stick to them. Setting and pursuing false intentions can lead to a lack of interest and motivation, which typically ends in goal abandonment and ultimately in feelings of failure and self-doubt. Feelings of failure and self-doubt can seriously erode confidence and our sense of self-empowerment and success.

My Final Coaching Tips: Set holistic SMARTER Intentions that recognize the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection for different areas of your life, including the areas of self-care, family and relationships, spiritual growth, finances and personal development. Different areas of life ebb and flow together like an ecosystem. Each area of life needs attention. Life should be cultivated and cared for like a plant or flower if it is truly to be enjoyed.

Keep your SMARTER Intentions in front of you; refer to them many times per day until they become part of your subconscious mind. Take inspired actions daily, change course when needed and enjoy the journey!

How do you set goals?

A client asked me how to set goals for 2021 – this was a great question, and we enjoyed exploring it during our coaching session. I suggest to clients that they begin by letting their creative juices flow through the process of drawing their vision.

We create our future in the present moment, so our thoughts, actions, and activities benefit by having a guide.  The best way to establish this guide?  Create a Visual Vision.

Start by Drawing Your Vision

Grab yourself a big piece of paper  — I like to use poster board or flip charts — and some markers, crayons, oil pastels, paints or whatever medium you prefer and begin to let your imagination wander.  This should be an enjoyable process, so I highly recommend savoring a hot cup of tea or favorite beverage of any kind while creating your vision of the future.  When you have everything you need, including quiet, focused time, begin drawing your vision for the future.  

Vision 2021

Most of my clients are challenged by seeing beyond 2021, so start there! What is your vision for this year?

Draw a picture of your vision – who do you want to be this year?  Where do you want to be at the beginning of 2022?  And, what do you want to have experienced and accomplished along the way? 

Let go and have some fun with this process!  Refine it until it feels good to you and truly represents your vision for 2021. Keep your visual vision in front of you and use it to guide 2021.  I also suggest looking at it daily – put it somewhere you are going to see it several times per day without having to manually get it out of a book or drawer. These repetitive visuals will help guide your subconscious mind.

Coaching Tip: You can use whatever timeframe that works for you. One year goes by quickly, and we want to give ourselves enough time to accomplish or reach our vision. So stretch yourself but also ground your vision by thinking what is real for you by 2022.

#YOU

I also suggest creating a unique hashtag or bumper sticker phrase to anchor your mind to the vision every time you set a goal or need to make a decision.  A great vision guides intentional and authentic goal setting and decision making by anchoring your mind, serving as a guide, simplifying the processes and becoming your compass for 2021!  Try it out and let me know how it goes!!

Coaching Tip:  You can use this process as an individual, with your family, with your friends and with teams at work.  Enjoy!

-Dr. Connie

It is Almost 2020: Give Yourself Permission to Pursue Your Desired Future

The end of the year – and in this case the beginning of a new decade – is a great time to take stock of where you have been and where you want to go!

Milestones in time create the ideal moments to clear the challenges of the past, celebrate our wonderful memories and launch our dreams. Listen to your internal compass. Maybe you have been feeling stuck or have an internal knowing that it is time to do something different. If so, it is time to give yourself permission to consciously create and pursue the future you truly desire.

One of the first lessons we cover in F * School is giving ourselves permission to do whatever we truly want to experience, try or pursue on the path to our preferred future – the future we truly desire.

I have noticed the need to “give permission” in both individuals and in organizations, so I created a lesson to address this need. Many people tend to keep themselves mentally stuck or wait for someone else to give them permission to move forward with an idea, project or vacation (Yes-sometimes leaders really struggle with taking time off to recharge and renew).

I have been guilty of choosing to stay stuck at times. My amazing executive coach, Elise Auxier, pointed this out to me as I transitioned from my job to my business. Instead of waiting for some external person or force to give me permission to leave a long-time career that was no longer serving me, I had to take ownership of my life and do it myself. It took a series of bold, baby steps. And, it took a lot of support. Ultimately, I had to be the one to take action. I gave myself permission every step of the way. Was it always easy? No. Has it been totally worth it? Yes!

The process of giving yourself permission to move forward with your dreams and desires can be especially important if you are going through a time of change or transformation. I used the Permission Slip several times to help with my midlife metamorphosis. It took me a year to leave the place I had been at for twenty-five years. As a mentioned earlier, it was a process of bold, baby steps. It has taken some time; however, I am finally emerging as the person I have always wanted to truly become.

Give yourself permission to take steps forward, no matter how big or small, to experience your dreams and desires. Don’t choose to pursue what I call the Purposeless Future.

The Purposeless Future

Too many people keep their desires inside of them.  They pursue what I call the Purposeless Future. This is the future that “just happens” because people opt to stay on the hamster wheel of life rather than taking the time to develop and pursue a purposeful future that they truly desire.

The future is not a straight path forward.  Rather, there are many alternative futures. In the world of strategic foresight (futuring), we us a tool called the Cone of Possibilities to help people understand this concept.  In the cone, there are multiple futures that can be described as:

  • Preferred:  The desired future we choose to pursue
  • Possible:  The wide range of events and possibilities over the course of time
  • Plausible:  Futures that are possible but unlikely
  • Probable:  Events and future scenarios that are likely to happen
  • Purposeless:  The future that occurs without conscious intention

There are also two key assumptions about the future:

  1. There are multiple futures.  It is important to clarify your preferred future through a visioning process; however, you must also be willing to change course when necessary.  Remember, life is not simply about achieving in the future — it is also about enjoying the present. 
  2. You influence the future through your true intent.  Once you establish your preferred future, you must develop the beliefs, behaviors, mindset and actions to make it happen.  If you do not truly believe in your preferred future, you will not consciously or subconsciously pursue it with true intent.

The Power of Honest Intentions

Our honest intentions are naturally supported by our beliefs and actions; therefore, all true intent is realized.  Intentions become the outcome — they become your future. Your intentions serve as motivation and the source of actions and behaviors. Setting and pursuing false intentions can lead to a lack of interest and motivation, which typically ends in feelings of failure and self-doubt. Feelings of failure and self-doubt can seriously erode confidence and our sense of self-empowerment and success. Be genuine about your desired future and your intent to pursue it.  If you honestly and consciously establish your true intentions, your beliefs, behaviors and mindset will align to create the outcome.  

Dealing with Wild Cards

Sometimes, we experience Wild Cards — those unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that can impact our present and future.  We might lose a job or have an unexpected health emergency. We might inherit a large sum of money or land a big client.

Wild Cards are a part of life, and we have to learn to deal with what comes our way. 

Life is Not a Straight Line

There is no straight line to any future. As leaders of our own lives, it is important to take risks, learn from the challenges and celebrate the successes. Our preferred futures may ultimately look and feel a little different than we imagined; however, they may be even better than what our minds are capable of creating!

The Pace of Change

Wild Cards are unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that we must deal with throughout the course of our lives; however, we are also living in a time of unprecedented change.  Not only is technology evolving faster than ever – life is too.  We are living longer and experiencing careers and families differently than ever before.  We also feel like we need to always be “on” as we are constantly bombarded with the demands of life.  This is especially true for people who are creating new ways of living and working.

All of this change can feel overwhelming and cause stress that undermines your potential.  Don’t give into the hype! Change will continue to happen. The intention here is to create the positive change, and preferred future, that works best for you and your life. So, get give yourself permission to pursue your desired future!

WIN with Action!

Giving yourself permission to pursue your dream future is not about striving, working hard or struggling to make it happen.  It is about the freedom to make decisions that work best for you. This exercise is about exploring how you personally WIN, and by WIN I mean let the process feel —

W = Wild = Free, Fulfilling and Fun!  

You have the freedom to choose how to spend your life. Put your ego, external validation and the thoughts of others aside so you can be totally free and honest with yourself.   Let your transformation be guided by self-honesty, personal fulfillment joy and fun!  

I = Inspired = Explore with Energy and Excitement! 

Anytime is a great time to explore new possibilities, so pursue your desired future in a way that gives you energy and feels exciting!  If you are feeling a bit stuck, start asking yourself some questions designed to increase your self-awareness:

  • Where does your energy naturally flow? 
  • What saps your energy?
  • What do you want to let go of doing, feeling or thinking?
  • What have you always wanted to do but have not yet tried?

This should be a process of experimenting and exploring.  Remember, your true intentions will naturally lead to inspired actions. 

N = Natural= Totally You.  

Have you ever tried on a piece of clothing, looked in the mirror and thought, “Wow!  This looks amazing!” It fit perfectly and the color made your face light up naturally.  That is what the “N” in WIN should feel and be like. Write, do and explore what feels totally and completely like you.  What comes to you without thinking about it? What have you been covering up or avoiding that is begging to be set free? What comes to you naturally — without effort or striving?  What makes you feel alive and excited — taps into your intuition (that inner wisdom we all possess) and aligns with your soul?

It’s Time to WIN!

Download and complete the Permission Slip below.  Take the time to give yourself permission to consciously create your future and experience your life by taking big leaps or bold, baby steps. Do whatever you need to do to give yourself permission to WIN and pursue your desired future!

Use extra Permission Slips if you need them. After you finish giving yourself permission to take consciously create your future by intentionally taking action, share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!  What steps did you decide to take? How did it feel? Whatever you want to share is absolutely welcome!

I look forward to hearing what you gave yourself permission to do, feel and experience to make your desired future a reality!

-Dr. Connie

Women Worldwide Podcast Interview with the incredible Dierdre Breakenridge

I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Dierdre Breakenridge. Dierdre is a PR guru, entrepreneur, teacher, author and awesome person! Learn more about Dierdre and her work by going to her web site: https://www.deirdrebreakenridge.com/

We had a million things we could have talked about in this episode of Women Worldwide; however, we ended up talking about futuring, the importance of a vision and how to have fun while pursuing your desired future! Check out this episode Women Worldwide and join Deirdre’s mission to advance a global conversation designed to help women succeed in business and in life.

Futuring – What is it and Why Do You Need It In Your Business?

How to Create Your Desired Future on the Leaders of Transformation Podcast

I have to admit that I was super excited to do an interview with Nicole Jansen as part of her Leaders of Transformation Podcast. We talk about the future, the importance of a vision and how work and leadership are evolving; however, my biggest moment was actually diving into my own transition! I have not said or written a lot about why and how I left a twenty-five year career to pursue my own desired future. Honestly, it has been a hard to talk about for a number of reasons. We discuss it a bit in this interview, and it felt awesome just to voice my truth as well as my new adventure in midlife!

http://leadersoftransformation.libsyn.com/276-dr-connie-reimers-hild-how-to-create-your-desired-future

Enjoy the show, and let me know what you think! I would love to know what topics you want to know more about in the future. Make sure to download the free

Start creating your desired future today by enjoy the Dream Life 2025 exercise that is mentioned in podcast! After you complete the Dream Life 2025 exercise, let me know what your desired future looks like in the comments section below!

Dream Life 2025

Want to start thinking like a Futurist? Then, try this Dream Life 2025 coaching exercise!

I developed this exercise for people who listen to the Leaders of Transformation podcast with Nicole Jansen. Strategic foresight is now a core leadership competency, and Nicole and I had a great chat about how all of us can develop a futurist mindset.

One of my favorite strategic foresight tools is using stories to creatively expand their ideal futures!

If you are going to think like a Futurist, then it is important to focus on your own future first! This exercise is designed to do just that-help you think about your ideal future. This same type of exercise can be done with teams, departments or even whole organizations. Give it a try and let me know what your dream future looks, feels and even smells like!

It is important to clarify and begin living like you have already achieved your ideal future if you are truly going to achieve it. There are multiple futures, and the outcome that actually occurs happens because of both your mindset and the methodologies you use to get there.

You can download the FREE Dream Life 2025 coaching exercise by clicking on the link below!

112 – Cultivating a Futurist Mindset with Connie Reimers-Hild – Jake A Carlson

Strategic foresight is a mix of mindset and methodology.  We are creating our futures in the present moment.  What are you doing to pursue the future you want to experience?  How can you cultivate a Futurist Mindset? And, why is this approach to life so important?

According to Jake, a few of the top takeaways from our episode focused on cultivating a futurist mindset include: 

Futurists help leaders and people better understand the future, and being a Futurist is a real thing!  Universities have teaching courses, degrees and certifications in strategic foresight (my certificate is from the University of Houston).

We create our future in the present moment.

Achieving your desired future is possible.   How?  You must combine methodology with mindset.  One of the first steps includes knowing what preferred future you want to achieve and experience.  You can do this by creating a Vivid Visual Vision, which blends fun with the future: 

In 3-5 years out what do you want to do and experience?

  • Use Crayons, Paints, any medium to make the vision as vivid as possible – make it your own whole brain, whole soul process
  • Get below the surface and become very self-aware and honest about your future
  • Proactively pause and find out what you want – step away from the demand and create a new model – become mindful
Listen to this episode of the Modern Leadership Podcast with Jake Carlson to learn more! Click on the link below and enjoy the show!

Source: 112 – Cultivating a Futurist Mindset with Connie Reimers-Hild – Jake A Carlson

Want to discover your leadership superpower?  Take Jake’s online assessment by going to his website JakeCarlson.com – it is a fun exercise that all leaders can use!

What is Your Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP)?

Purpose, Vision and the Future

Purpose and vision are two key elements when creating and living your desired future.  Individuals and organizations investing in transformation must make the time explore and clearly define their purpose and their vision.  It is an important first step in my futuring and coaching process and is especially important for women (and men) who find themselves in new, and many times unexpected, stages and ages of life. 

One of my top Strengths is Learner, and I am always interested in learning more about ways to help clients dive into their inner and outer worlds worlds.  I am in the last of three online strategic foresight courses offered by Singularity University, and I am really excited about their lesson on developing what they call the Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP).

I am sitting at my computer working on my new and improved MTP right now (aka my homework).   The great thing about this assignment is that I can use and apply the information in my own life.  It is the end of 2018, and I have fresh, global perspectives that are making me think differently about my business.  New opportunities are popping up everyone, and I need to decide where to focus my time and talents.  I am looking forward to walking through this process – not just for my homework – but to improve my work and life as well!

Take a look at the process below and share your MTP’s with me. I would love to hear from all of you!!

Go Wild and Share Your MTP!

-Dr. Connie

Eradicating diseases, mastering flight, near-instant global communication, going to the moon—humans have developed a taste for making the impossible possible.Though we still face a daunting list of global challenges, we’ve learned that science and technology can uncover big solutions. But mind-blowing breakthroughs don’t just happen. They take teams of bright and dedicated people chipping away at the problem day and night. They take a huge amount of motivation, toil, and at least a few failures.To solve our biggest problems, we need people to undertake big tasks. But what drives someone to take on such a difficult, uncertain process and stick with it?There’s a secret to motivating individuals and teams to do great things: It’s purpose.Social movements, rapidly growing organizations, and remarkable breakthroughs in science and technology have something in common—they’re often byproducts of a deeply unifying purpose. There’s a name for this breed of motivation.It’s called massive transformative purpose or MTP.Setting out to solve big problems brings purpose and meaning to work—it gives us a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning and face another day.Peter Diamandis likes to say, “Find something you would die for, and live for it.”The more we organize around massive transformative purpose, the harder we’ll work, the more dedicated we’ll be, the faster we can solve big problems—and maybe most importantly, the more fulfilled we’ll feel about the work we do.This article will explore ideas we’ve learned from some of our favorite big thinkers on what makes an MTP and how to find and implement yours.

Understanding Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP)

In 2014, Salim Ismail published Exponential Organizations, co-authored by Mike Malone and Yuri van Geest. In the book, the team analyzed the 100 fastest growing organizations and synthesized their key traits. They discovered every single company on the list had a massive transformative purpose. In the simplest sense, an MTP is a “highly aspirational tagline” for an individual or group, like a company, organization, community, or social movement. It’s a huge and audacious purpose statement.

mtp-definition-box-v3

Elon Musk and SpaceX are a good example for understanding MTPs. Musk didn’t found SpaceX to have a luxurious retirement on Mars or just for the sake of building the most profitable aerospace company. He’s driven by the belief humans must become a multi-planetary species. Making this a reality is his purpose. SpaceX’s MTP to revolutionize space technology and enable people to live on another planet creates a shared aspirational purpose within the organization. Notice that SpaceX’s MTP is:

  • Huge and aspirational
  • Clearly focused
  • Unique to the company
  • Aimed at radical transformation
  • Forward-looking

MTPs are not representative of what’s possible today; they’re aspirational and focused on creating a different future. This aspirational element is what ignites passion in individuals and groups; it’s what engages people’s hearts and minds to work together to realize their goal.

artboard-1-copy-16

SpaceX’s MTP does this so well that they’ve also activated a cultural shift outside of the company’s walls, which is a secondary effect of having a strong MTP. Other examples Ismail, Malone, and van Geest note in their book include the massive lines that form when Apple releases a new iPhone or the huge waitlist each year to get a seat at TED’s annual conference. MTPs can inspire whole communities and evangelists to form around them.

Four examples of strong massive transformative purposes

As you read through these examples try to identify how each one fulfills each letter of MTP.

  1. TED: “Ideas worth spreading.”
  2. Google: “Organize the world’s information.”
  3. X Prize Foundation: “Bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.”
  4. Tesla: “Accelerate the transition to sustainable transportation.”

Hopefully, this helps explain what an MTP is. But there are other kinds of motivating messages out there. What distinguishes an MTP from all the rest? An MTP is not: 

  • Just a company’s mission statement.
  • Technology specific or narrowly focused.
  • Representative of what is possible today.
  • Motivated only by profits.
  • Just a big goal or even a “big hairy audacious goal.” (It must also be driven by a purpose to create transformative impact.)

A successful MTP can often be reframed into a question. That question can then be used to evaluate organizational decisions and whether they’re aligned with the MTP. For example, if the organization TED is deciding whether to move forward with a talk they can ask, “Is this an idea worth spreading?”

The competitive advantages of an MTP

Having an MTP can trigger incredible outcomes, which is why high-growth organizations all tend to have them. The aspirational quality of an MTP pushes teams to prioritize big thinking, rapid growth strategies, and organizational agility—and these behaviors all have substantial payoffs in the long term. As an MTP harnesses passion within an organization, it also galvanizes a community to form outside the company that shares the purpose. This sparks an incredible secondary impact by helping organizations attract and retain top qualified talent who want to find mission-driven work and remain motivated by the cause. Additionally, when people are aligned on purpose, it creates a positive feedback loop by channeling intrinsic motivation towards that shared purpose. Finally, like a north star, an MTP keeps all efforts focused and aligned, which helps organizations grow cohesively. As the organization evolves and scales, the MTP becomes a stabilizer for employees as they transition into new territory.

How to begin creating an MTP

Peter Diamandis boils down two main areas of focus to identify your purpose:

  1. Identify the who: Ask yourself who you want to impact. What community do you want to create a lasting positive impact for? Is it high school students? The elderly? People suffering a chronic disease? These are just a few examples of potential groups to focus your purpose towards.
  2. Identify the what: What problem do you want to take on and solve? Here’s an exercise created by Diamandis to identify the “what” of your purpose:

Step one: Write down the top three items you are most excited about or get you most riled up (that you want to solve). 

Step two: For each of the three problems listed above, ask the following six questions and score each from 1-10. (1 = small difference; 10 = big difference)

ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS 1. If at the end of your life you had made a significant dent in this area, how proud would you feel? 2. Given the resources you have today, what level of impact could you make in the next three years if you solved this problem? 3. Given the resources you expect to have in 10 years, what level of impact could you make in a 3-year period? 4. How well do I understand the problem? 5. How emotionally charged (excited or riled up) am I about this? 6. Will this problem get solved with or without you involved?

TOTAL = Add up your scores and identify the idea with the highest score. This is your winner for now. Does this one intuitively feel right to you?

Have an MTP? Here’s what to do next

Realizing an MTP requires a different type of thinking. It requires a mindset and work environment that leans into complex problems and dares to think big—really big. SpaceX isn’t where they are today because they focused on making 10% improvements to existing aerospace technology. And Google’s self-driving car isn’t the byproduct of a goal to make a 10% improvement to driving. 10% thinking leads to incremental progress, which doesn’t lead to making the impossible possible—like sending people to the moon. Through history, however, we’ve learned that radically big thinking can lead to these types of breakthroughs. You have the recipe for creating a massive transformative purpose to push you and your organization to the next level of performance and impact. Now, it’s time to get to work.

Download a checklist for writing your own MTP, and share your ideas with us @singularityhub

Image credit: Shutterstock

Megatrend 3: Decentralized Global Marketplace

Distance learning is in the age of the “Empowered Consumer-Learner” who has a buffet of educational choices.   The empowered consumer-learner decides what educational experiences and knowledge they need, when they need it and how they want to experience it.  The wide-array of non-credit and for credit choices makes for a very competitive marketplace but also a field of new opportunities.

Venture capitalists continue to invest in distance education because of the return on investment potential.  Big Data is being used to develop marketing campaigns, study human behaviors and determine patterns.  It is also being used to examine various areas of teaching and learning.  Data can help create bite-sized, customized courses and programs that are both personalized and interactive (Koller, 2012). Technology enables the delivery of information and education anytime, anywhere and from anyone in a way that makes sense to the learner while adding value to their lives.

It’s no longer necessary for people to enroll in college, formal classes or workshops to learn.  They are learning what they want to know from their networks and resources they find on the Web, through Apps or in iTunes.  People will increasingly be able to create and print their ideas from wherever they choose with 3D printing.  Technology, combined with the continued growth of self-expression and meaning, will continue to change education at a rapid pace.

Value is becoming less about college credit and more about meaningful outcomes and self-expression through enhanced skills and evolving abilities.  The world is fast-becoming an “Add to Cart” society for anything and everything, including educational experiences.  Individuals are creating local, national and global communities of meaning and change that are self-selected and self-formed.  Many of these same individuals are transforming distance learning in new and innovative ways.  Technology, combined with the need for meaning, self-expression and self-actualization, has created an increasingly decentralized marketplace.

People are choosing how to meet virtually, when, where and whether-or-not to meet face-to-face and connecting over common causes.  Education, along with so many other areas of life, is becoming increasingly decentralized.  Savvy consumers seek and create the value they crave to transform their lives.   They are choosing whether or not they want a badge, certificate, credit hour or degree, and their demands are shaping the marketplace and future trends.  The Empowered Consumer-Learner wants a unique experience that adds value to their life.  Future-focused leaders who ask and answer not, “What is the lifetime value of a customer?” but rather, “What value can we add to a lifetime?” will be in a better position to compete in the increasingly decentralized marketplace.

Innovation Retreat: New Ideas and New Dollars on April 29!
As educators, what is the value we can add to a lifetime?

Megatrend 1: The Rise of the #GigEconomy

The rise of the entrepreneurial individual, and what is currently referred to as the Gig Economy, will create new challenges and opportunities for distance learning administrators.  How can institutions of education help learners create value for traditional employers and for their individual brands?   If not as many people are investing in education to land a full-time job, what does this mean for higher education?

An emerging trend, the rise of global joblessness (International Labour Office, 2014), is supporting the growth of the Gig Economy while creating a need for the marketing of talents and skills in new and meaningful ways.   The number of large employers is predicted to shrink in the future causing people to find new and inventive ways to make a living.  The ability to sell, purchase and promote goods and services as well as individual brands on the Web has created a need for education to add value to the lives of learners in innovative ways.  People are increasingly defining success for themselves, which does not always include a college degree and a 9-5 job.  In many ways, it is now much cooler to be a successful start-up entrepreneur, famous blogger or YouTube sensation than a person working in a full-time job.

One common denominator will remain the same:  People need to be found on the already crowded World Wide Web.  They have to build their brands and levels of influence to strengthen both credibility and success.  Educational institutions should keep a close eye on the rise of businesses like Fiverr.com and the use of Twesumes (Twitter + Resume = Twesume = a resume in 140 characters or less) to land jobs or gigs (thus, the #GigEconomy).

Leaders should also consider building their brands, as well as those of students, faculty and alumni.  The rise of social networks and technology has enabled people to both learn and teach at anytime from any place.  These same tools have helped people create their own businesses and design their lives in ways that best suit them, which supports the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend.  Life purpose is shaping everything from healthcare to education.