Over the past 90 days,I’ve been participating in a program called “Creating the Impossible” or CTI.  It’s a program designed and delivered by Michael Neill, a masterful coach whose work I’ve come to truly appreciate.  You can learn more about him at www.michaelneill.org.  I may have talked about this already – I didn’t go back and check my last few posts – so excuse my repetition!  If I have repeated, it’s because I’ve gotten so much out of the program. And like other things I love, value and learn from, I’m eager to share…

The original premise is simple enough.  Pick a project that has less than a 20% chance of becoming a reality.   This isn’t just a BIG GOAL you tackle through discipline or sheer force of will.  Rather, it’s something that comes into being almost through force of nature and the will of creativity.  In reality, you have to take your hands off the wheel (a new favorite saying of mine) and let providence take over along with your efforts.   

Another key idea is that the project isn’t about something that’s just about or for you.  Put something new out into the world. Easy examples (in my world) have been songs, posts and stories.  I’ve tried to do that almost daily. I’m not perfect – I’ve had hit or miss days and weeks. 

Perhaps the best summation of what a CTI Project should be is something that makes you Grin, Gasp and Giggle.  Grin because you’re excited with possibility. Gasp because you’re thinking “How am I ever going to pull this off?”  And Giggle because you’ll LOVE IT if it actually happens! 

This is the final week of the program and while I’ve encouraged many clients and friends to try out this idea, I thought I’d give you the bullet version of what I’ve learned from this amazing experience.

The Emphasis is on Creating (and a bit less on Impossible):  I am thrilled that the two projects I chose actually came into being.  I’ll share more on those another time. But what I’m more excited about is that I re-discovered the sheer joy of creating something, in fact, anything.  It’s always positive and yet one more reason to be grateful to be on the planet.

There’s a Difference between Goals and Results:  Goals are usually about an impact for an individual or several individuals.  For example, if I had chosen to run a sub-4 minute marathon as my impossible project, that would have been awesome – but mainly for me.  There wouldn’t be much of an impact on anyone else. A Result is different. It’s something you put out to the world. One of my projects was creating a group for Adults with Congenital Heart Disease.  I’m still working on it and hopeful that the result will be that individuals with CHD have access to education, resources and others to share the journey with.

And finally…

Creativity is An Everyday Thing:  As I mentioned, creating something every day was one of the early challenges of this program.  And for me, it’s been my best and most important takeaway. The practice also helped me realize that you won’t create magic every day.  Some days quite the opposite! But chances are that no matter what you enjoy creating – music, art and yes, even business opportunities, doing it every day of your life will mean a lifetime of creative magic.  

So, I’ll leave you with this question:  What Will You Create Today?

Thoughts, ideas, feedback?  Want to create something together?  Email me at [email protected]


  • Robert Grabel

    Executive Coach

    Nonprofit Now! and Forward Is Forward

    Robert Grabel is an Executive Coach committed to serving others with a career that has included work in both the for profit and nonprofit sectors.  After growing his practice in in financial services, he spent nearly two decades in the nonprofit arena doing everything from launching his own start-up charity to serving in senior leadership roles where he helped raise millions in support of a wide range of causes.  Robert writes and speaks on a range of topics, volunteers, writes, plays music, runs and loves his time with his family and dog.   You can learn more about him and contact him at www.robertgrabel.com or his dedicated nonprofit site: www.yournonprofitnow.com