I just heard a film called Paper Clips will be hitting the theatres soon. I had the opportunity to preview it last month and found myself fascinated with how it lines up with the concepts I try to teach my life coaching clients.
First of all, a synopsis fresh from Miramax: Students from the tiny town of Whitwell, Tennessee embark on a school project launched out of their principal’s desire to open her students’ eyes to the diversity that exists beyond their insulated valley. In an effort to learn about the Holocaust, they decide to collect paper clips, one to represent each person exterminated by the Nazis. What ensues is an amazing series of events that involves the community and way beyond and results in a permanent memorial in their schoolyard.
What struck me most was how the baby steps those students took led them to such a satisfying place. It culminated in an accomplishment that went way beyond the scope of what any of them — students, teachers, parents — thought was possible.
If only we could all get that lesson every single day. One action per day or two actions per week might very well get us exactly what it is we’ve been dreaming of. You want to write a book? Imagine a chapter a week or a chapter a month. By the end of three months or six months or a year, you’ll have that book. I’m currently working with a client who wants to show his photography at a gallery. Each week we have him doing something that will lead him there. Research galleries. Find out when they welcome new portfolios. Prep the portfolio. Write a bio. Get prints made. Have them matted and framed. Gather your courage. You get the idea, right?
Set the goal. Start making the plan. Then execute it. One paper clip at a time.