One of my favourite quotes is from Norman Peale:
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”
What does Peale mean? Simply put, we can’t always win. We can’t always get what’s desired. But the least we should do is try our best. So despite not reaching our goal entirely, we would still achieve great heights. Just because we don’t hit the target, doesn’t mean we don’t come close.
Many say that the next generation will be the greatest moonshotters out there. People continue to look at global youth thinkers, creators, explorers, artists, athletes, scientists, etc as those with potential to push innovative boundaries and develop ground-breaking projects. That is the essence of moonshotting.
Moonshotting involves ambition, embracing creativity, and managing pitfalls. The three main ingredients for a good moonshot are inspiration, imagination and credibility. No matter how old or young you are, you can be a moonshotter. Any project that has a tangible impact or inspires people or changes how people think, can make a huge difference in a community. However, credibility plays a large role in maintaining a project’s integrity. Do the research! Know your sources. Know what’s available to you.
Take ownership of mistakes. Learn along the way and improve in all tasks. Some of the best projects out there may not be ones that are most popular. But they make a big difference for many communities.
HEAR IT FROM OUR OWN
One example of becoming a moonshotter is from two of our very own student leaders, Alex and William! They participated in the Believe Leadership Course at John Fraser Secondary School this spring, and developed their own Believe Passion Project! They created a project called “My Ontario Grant”, which uses their passion for coding and helping others, to help solve the problem of small businesses in Ontario that are struggling due to COVID-19.
According to Alex and William, the web-based resource includes an integrated survey that will determine small business eligibility for government grants/finding and provide directions to other resources for small businesses.
”Essentially we wanted to create a project to help small Ontario businesses that were affected by COVID as it is a really recent issue, said Alex. As opposed to scrolling through pages and pages of jargon on the Ontario site, our web application helps businesses determine Ontario grants they may be eligible for in just a matter of minutes.
Alex and William took this ambitious idea, and overcame multiple obstacles throughout their Passion Project journey. It was not entirely a smooth process!
“Throughout this project, we learned many lessons. First is to persevere in the face of adversity. When we encounter technical issues, we decided to take a break for a few days and that actually helped us solve the problem,” mentioned William. They were resilient and resourceful when facing multiple technical issues or logistical barriers.
The pair presented their idea at the Believe Leadership Spring Collective Inspiration Fair alongside dozens of other Passion Projects from schools across North America. After two rounds of presentations, Alex and William were selected to win the $2000 Believe Grant to continue growing their project, My Ontario Grant!
Despite all the obstacles, anything can be achieved with the right mindset and people around us. Don’t give up on any idea just because there’s turbulence. Soar through the shaky times and stay determined with your peers or team. Make your moonshot.
BECOMING A MOONSHOTTER
Want to become a moonshotter? Here’s a simple recipe to get started, and don’t forget about the 3 ingredients we talked about earlier in this blog, inspiration, imagination and credibility!
Behind any great athlete’s success is a long, hard-fought journey of education. To become a great player, an athlete needs to become knowledgeable about their sport. And this applies to any innovative project. Before diving deep into the planning phase, we need to know more. What resources are available? Why are people struggling and with what? How can issues be solved? These are questions that needs to be considered in the process in order to maintain credibility.
Another key point is avoiding complacency. Don’t stay put! Plan. Make Changes. Try different ideas—even ones you initially think might not turn out the way you want them to. Maintain your vision, but let your creativity and imagination run wild. Your research and education from Step 1 can also be used not only for credibility, but for building a larger web of creative concepts.
Work with others to accomplish what needs to be done. Working with a diverse range of people who can bring different perspectives to the table can have so many benefits. This helps the team problem-solve and overcome obstacles as they arise. By collaborating with others, you also have more people to help throughout the process and fuel the flame. So don’t sit around trying to make things happen alone. Teamwork makes the dream work!
MAKE YOUR SHOT
Like Norman Peale, I encourage you to take every chance that comes and make your moonshot! In whatever you do, keep the three tips above in mind. Keep learning, stay determined, and fight for your causes. Bring new ideas or shape old ones into new concepts. Improve the world one step at a time with those around you! Even if you miss the moon, you’ll land in the stars, shining.