Marsha Sinetar refers to them as characters that help us build possibility tracks, Barbara Stanny calls them way-showers; whatever their label, they're people who have done - or are doing - what we want to do.
Fictitious or real, these role models help us "mentally construct images of what we want and use these as rough sketches for the behaviors and attitudes we need." (Marsha Sinetar, To Build the Life You Want, Create the Work You Love)
They show us what's possible.
I love the term possibility track, it's been spinning in my head since I first came across it six months ago. I interpret it as a person's chosen path, successes, attitude, lifestyle or parts of, that I (or you) would like to emulate. I also use it to refer to the actual person as in "Yeah, she rocks! She's one of my possibility tracks."
I group possibility tracks into two categories: literal and figurative.
LITERAL POSSIBILITY TRACKS
Literal possibility tracks relate to a specific line of work, goal or cause that we are interested in pursuing. Primarily vocational in nature, they refer to people who are doing something we'd love to do ourselves. Adding our own flair to the mix, we want to be like them when we grow up.
FIGURATIVE POSSIBILITY TRACKS
These are the folks whose stories inspire us because they go for gold. They commit to their dream or cause and do what needs to be done. We may not share their specific vocation, but we aspire to their level of commitment and action.
Possibility tracks show us what's possible, they give us hope and push us to stretch. They're living proof that through commitment, action and usually with a bit of serendipity thrown in, dreams and goals can be met. After all if they can do it, why couldn't we?
Tell me, who are your possibility tracks?
- Sinetar, Marsha. To Build the Life You Want, Create the Work You Love: The Spiritual Dimension of Entrepreneuring. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995
- Stanny, Barbara. Overcoming Underearning: A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005