Steve’s Goal Setting Journey
As its Monday, we wanted to share a really motivational story from our People Director, Steve Cass.
Steve very recently completed a life goal of visiting all 50 United States of America. Steve started back in 1990 when he visited his first US state, Florida. He quickly grew very fond of the US, travelling to Florida frequently.
At that point, Steve remembered he always thought of his goal to visit every US state as ‘just a nice idea’ and spoke about going to each different state with his Dad when they were on a trip to New England.
Shortly after this trip, Steve’s Dad sadly passed away, which created a sense of determination for Steve to carry on the goal they had shared. For the 15 years following the start of Steve’s plan, he said that he wasn’t very goal oriented, but as he visited more states and the idea became more realistic, his ambition accelerated.
Steve started spending all of his spare time planning new trips to help him tick different states off the list. He created one criteria, to classify a state being visited, he needed to sleep there for a night. Steve turned his attention to earning more money at work so he could fund his trips. Steve went from staying in youth hostels and even sleeping on the beach, to staying in nicer hotels and booking more activities while visiting different states. This created a really goal driven attitude for Steve, as he wanted to earn more money so he could go on nicer trips more frequently.
He recalls one of his highlights was travelling to the ‘4 corners’, which is the quadripoint where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet.
As he continued to plan more trips, Steve’s excitement and gratification of achieving his goal increased, and he said that planning the trips was a really huge part of the fun.
Throughout his goal, Steve had a physical map of all of the US states and a tick-list in his diary so he could visualise his progress in reaching his goal. ‘It really helped to have the number 50 to work towards’.
A really moving part of Steve’s goal happened when he arrived in New York on the 9th September 2001. Being his first time in New York, this was massive trip for Steve and one he had been excited about for a long time.
Steve said he was faced with a choice to book a tour to the World Trade Centre on the 10th or the 11th September. He decided to go to the Empire State Building on the 10th, and booked his tour of the World Trade Centre for the 11th.
Steve recalled that when he was at the Empire State Building, he took a photo of the Twin Towers, and this was the last day the towers ever stood.
Steve had his tour booked for 9am on the 11th but never made it to the World Trade Centre, because he slept through his alarm. Steve said that this is really out of character for him to do, and he woke up late that morning and was rushing to get ready for his tour.
As Steve made his way towards the World Trade Centre through Central Park, the events of 9/11 unfolded. He distinctively remembers jet planes flying overhead, lots of bomb scares, shops shutting down and the roads of New York being empty of cars. The next day Steve really felt an immense sense of patriotism, with the hotel he was staying in becoming a crisis centre.
Following 9/11 Steve told us he realised that ‘life is about making things happen, it’s not a dress rehearsal’. When he got back from New York he realised that he needed to take his goal of visiting all of the US states seriously. With this he sold his car and house and gave up his job to go travelling. Travelling included driving from Los Angeles to New York and visiting Hawaii.
Steve said he always knew Hawaii was going to be more difficult because it’s in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but it turned out to be one of the best things he ever did!
Steve completed his goal in September 2019 with his last visit to North Dakota. Visiting all 50 states has been a really eye opening experience for Steve and has really helped him adapt goal setting to other parts of his life and career and teach different people at MarketMakers to be able to do the same.
Steve’s next goal is to see all of the provinces and territories of Canada over the next 8 years, and we’re sure he will keep us updated on how it goes!