Jim Carrey plans for success.
He was on UK television, The Graham Norton Show just before Christmas time, talking about how he does this and promoting his latest film Dumb and Dumber To (2014).
As well as being a talented actor, a great mimic, and an outstanding comedian, he’s quite creative with his hands. Jim Carrey told the audience he enjoys making all sorts of things from puppets to cartoons to art. He showed a photo of a puppet he had made of his co-star Jeff Daniels, which was pretty good. He’s a great storyteller too, the type of person you would love to sit beside at a dinner party; easy to listen to, great with words, he’s a funny and imaginative guy with an anecdote for every situation.
Jim Carrey believes in visualisation.
He told a story on the talk show about how he likes to create pictures in his mind to help him imagine what he wants to achieve from life. Early on in his career, when he was still a struggling actor, he thought long and hard about where he wanted his career to go. How would he know he had achieved success? How would he know he had made it big? What would he gain if he did ‘make it’?
Jim Carrey took a blank piece of paper and made himself a cheque. He made it look like a real bank cheque, with all the right markings and words on it. He made it payable to himself, Jim Carrey, for the sum of 10 million dollars – yes, you read that right – $10, 000,000. He then put the date on it – 1995 – and put it in his pocket, where he carried it around with him.
1994 was one of the most successful years for Jim Carrey.
He starred in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber. By the end of 1994 Jim Carey had made 10 million dollars. He took his cheque out of his pocket and gave it to his father, the man who inspired him to follow his dreams.
I love this story because it’s a real story of how someone famous, someone you know, someone who wanted success, set a goal and achieved it. In fact, not only did he make his goal visible, he made it real and tangible.
In education we often talk about ‘visible learning’.
Teachers like to see ‘visible progress’. You know what it’s like in schools at the moment – you crunch data, set targets and make action plans, but how often do you make a goal you can carry around in your pocket? How often do you set ‘tangible targets’?
It’s the start of 2015, and the time you make New Year’s resolutions, or set some sort of target for the coming year. It might be personal for you or one for your school, your pupils or your staff. You might be about to write your next school improvement plan with your senior leadership team.
Dream of success
What if you were to focus on one overriding goal? What if you were to make your goal visible? What if you were to set a tangible, touchable target?
Imagine you’ve squashed all your aims, and action plans and school improvement targets into one clear benefit. What would it be? What would it look like? What would it feel like if you could turn it into an object and touch it? What date would you put on it?
And when you succeed, whom would you give it to?