I don’t want to give the impression that this is my idea. I read it in a book by Martha Beck: She suggests that we all have at least one W.I.G. (Wildly Improbable Goal).
This shouldn’t be like “I want to get promoted”, but rather along the lines of “I want my own island”. Something completely out there. Something not in the realm of what’s immediately possible.
I find this exercise tremendously fun. Daydreaming is free, it’s not fattening, and it floods me with happiness inducing, endorphin-like substances. But perhaps more interestingly, it serves a purpose.
Starting out by calling something “wildly improbable” frees you from anything that might be tying down your imagination. Hence, it becomes a window into your truest desires. For example, if you said, “I want to be the King of the World” it might take more than a career change. But, maybe it allows you to see, for the first time, how much you love politics, or a position of leadership (or diamond encrusted gold crowns).
If you can’t visualize what you really want, there is no way to ever get there. In other words, a W.I.G. is the missing link between “absolutely impossible” and “not likely, but, how close can I get and how much fun can I have trying to get there?” If I want to write a book, and currently consider that “wildly improbable”, I might decide to break it down into pieces I can manage, and write two pages a day. “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”, said Lao Tzu. But a first step in what direction? Moving through life without a Wildly Improbable goal or two or six is like navigating without a compass. It’s tactics without a strategy. It's your time, ticking away.
Your Wildly Improbable Goal needs to be as un-generic as possible. “Winning the lottery”, for example, doesn’t count (plus you lose points for being completely un-original.)
What would count is what you’d do if you won. “I would open a restaurant”, or “I’d quit my job and go live in Tanzania”. “I’d buy my mother a new house”. It can’t be something you could easily accomplish in a year or two, either. Think bigger. It’s just a wish. Make it whatever – whatever - you want.
Do you feel it’s big enough, wild enough, and improbable enough?
O.K. Now, do tell. What is your Wildly Improbable Goal?