On the Road of Trials: Journal of an Aspiring Entrepreneur

Recently I’ve been taking a social innovations class at BYU-I where we are encouraged to keep a journal of what we learn each week. Welcome to entry six of said journal. I’ll be using Joseph Campbell’s theory of The Hero’s Journey as a framework for my posts, each week will be a different stage. I hope you like it!

atitudes

On the Road of Trials

“The road of trials is a series of tests that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.” Wikipedia

Campbell: “Once having traversed the threshold, the hero moves in a dream landscape of curiously fluid, ambiguous forms, where he must survive a succession of trials. This is a favorite phase of the myth-adventure. It has produced a world literature of miraculous tests and ordeals. The hero is covertly aided by the advice, amulets, and secret agents of the supernatural helper whom he met before his entrance into this region…The original departure into the land of trials represented only the beginning of the long and really perilous path of initiatory conquests and moments of illumination. Dragons have now to be slain and surprising barriers passed — again, again, and again.” [7]

under gaurd

On Testing Allies and Enemies

“You can’t do good business with bad people,” – Brother Gwilliam

In this stage of the journey, a lot of your time will be spent finding out who your true allies are, and who are your enemies. If you unite yourself with someone who is an enemy in secret your entire adventure could be compromised in a matter of moments. The reverse is true for allies. It is so crucial as we start our businesses and start taking steps towards making that impact we hope to make, we are ever careful of who we bring in. The people we bring along for the adventure have the potential to make or break the company, and define the overall success or failure of our impact.

“Usually that is what people need most- that connection, that love.” – Brother Gwilliam

I believe that it is important to not only thing about the legacy I want to leave, but also the legacy of those who are being impacted by my life and work. What will my impact be on their legacy? Will it be for better or for worse? As human beings, and especially as human beings on adventures, we need human connection. Not only do we need it, we need to foster it. It’s important that as we start our businesses we think with the end in mind, and strive I believe that it’s crucial to our businesses that we find the allies that will help create a culture where we can foster connection and love within our adventure. We aren’t the only ones who need that, so do our clients or customers. I believe that the success of our businesses will depend on how much connection our customers feel when they use the solutions we are providing, or support our efforts.  Thinking with end in mind. The question is, how do we foster that connection in an increasingly disconnected society?

cake

Asking for Help

“You already have the no, go get the yes.”

In class we talked about the power that asking for help has to foster connection in a very organic and authentic way. As was explained in Joseph Campbell’s quote, often times during this stage as the hero struggles and asks for-and receives-that supernatural aid or help that we mentioned in a previous post. The hero is sent help over and over again.  As we were discussing asking for help in class, we discussed the fear that often comes with the thought of asking for what we need. At this point one of our class mates shared something his mom used to tell him “You already have the no, go get the yes.” Meaning, by not asking you already have a no answer, so go out and ask and get the yes answer. It was also brought up that we live in a society that views asking for help as weak. For some reason we have the misguided belief that we are supposed to go through this life completely independent with no weakness and no need for help from any outside force whatsoever. As we were discussing this brother Gwilliam said the following.

“Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness”

It is so important to view asking for help as the strength that it is, and as a mutual benefit and success. It’s a sharing of strength to ask for and to give help. We need more of that in this world.

I can't

The Time is Now

“I started my business in my junior year and I couldn’t start that today…today you have the greatest opportunity to be a social entrepreneur than you will have in your entire life”

I feel like this was the most important takeaway from our lessons this week. We have the power to make a change now, and now is often the right time. The more we wait, the more emotional and physical overhead we have to work around and support. Ultimately, we have to put off that fear and take a calculated step out into that darkness. We have to embrace to road of trials, and maneuver them the best we know how, and most of all- we have to ask for help.

people

 

Questions
Why is dependency such an issue for non-profits?

When a non-profit is dependent on outside support, they start to rely on that support and when that support is removed it can be the fall of the organization and therefore, their impact is lost as they fade.

How can you balance and sustain triple bottom line in any business? You have to have a clear vision and be the keeper, caretaker, and advocate of that vision. You have to look at the big picture of your business, and see every aspect and look at those three areas and how they are succeeding or failing. Then, you have to have the courage to delegate those things that need to be done in those areas-or even the areas themselves- to others so they can help you. It’s all about balance, and delegation helps with that. No man can be an island.

fascinating

clapping

The Courage of Crazy

So, I did something crazy today. Not arrest crazy, just crazy. You see, in class we were shown a TED talk by Amanda Palmer (seen above, minor content warning) and she talked a lot about connection and the art of asking for help in order to foster said connection. After watching this video our professor brother Gwiliam gave us two options. Either we could stay in the classroom and discuss the textbook for the last twenty minutes of class, or we could go out and do something that fosters connection-ask for something. Now, something to know about me is that I’m an introvert with some extroverted qualities, however even when I’m in slight extrovert mode I am not vulnerable whatsoever. I don’t want to be rejected, or to get hurt. Yet, as brother Gwilliam gave us the options something clicked.

do you understand the words

I knew this is what I needed to do, even though I  was scared. So, I left class and approached a girl I saw sitting inside the building. Unfortunately, I had no plan of attack whatsoever. So, I complemented her shoes, and then stood there awkwardly. I asked her if she was waiting for a class (she wasn’t) then continued to stand there in silence very awkwardly. I asked her if there was anything I could do to make her day brighter (no) so after standing there for a few moments I left. Yeah, so needless to say, that didn’t really work. I knew I hadn’t connected or made the impact that I needed to. If I was going to succeed at this, I would have to be vulnerable. I would have to use shock therapy on myself and do something I was maybe a little more than slightly uncomfortable with, and something that was maybe more than a little nuts. I sat down, made of list of things I could do, decided on a project, and I headed out for the MC-the busiest building on campus. My project: I was going approach complete strangers and ask them if they would pray with me.

hallelujer 2

When I get there, I see a guy sitting on the floor near the ballrooms working on his laptop. Apparently my first instinct is flight because I dart around a wall and sit there trying to build up the guts to approach him… It takes a good five minutes. Finally, backpack slung over my shoulder all nonchalant like I just happened to see him-rather than stalking him freakishly from my corner for the past few minutes-I kneel down in front of him.

“I need your help, would you be willing to help me?” I ask, my eyes on his.

“Of course, what do you need?”

“Would you pray with me?”

“Yeah, absolutely.” He says. (Much more receptive than I had anticipated)

“What’s your name?”

“Br***en,” Then we bow our heads, and I pray. I pray in gratitude for this school, I pray for “my friend Br***en”, I pray that he will feel God’s light and joy, and that he will learn what he needs to to be a champion of God’s work. When I finish the prayer, I touch his knee and look into his eyes and say

“Thank you so much.”

“Yeah, thank you for that.” he says, after that I leave. I did this saying the same thing three more times. “I need your help, I need your help, I need your help,”  I found someone on a staircase and we prayed there on the steps together.  I stopped someone in the middle of the sidewalk and we prayed for her homework and her growth in being a disciple of Christ. I stopped someone else in the testing center, just before she was to go and take a test, and we prayed in the doorway that her test would be successful. As I left the testing center, I felt it was time to try something else crazy.

tumblr_m7uof9DH6c1rctex7o1_500

So, I approached a guy and asked if he would do an experiment with me. I asked him to hold eye contact with me for one minute (using a timer on my phone) without breaking eye contact. While we looked into each others eyes we talked about his major, a presentation he was working on, and life at college. When the timer went off, I gave him a high five and I left. Okay, time to raise the stakes.
So, I did something even crazier. I walked up to a guy and asked him his name, and I asked him if I could write him a love letter. I know what you’re thinking “You did what?” Haha, I know! The thing is, he was super kind, and we sat together for a few minutes as he worked on his math homework and I penned a love letter to him in my well used notebook. When I was done I ripped out the page, handed it to him, and left with a smile and a thank you. A few minutes later, I ran into a gal from class and we discussed what we were working on, and how difficult it was to have the courage to pick someone and just walk up to them and speak! Ha-ha. At least for me, anyways. Once we parted ways, I picked my last person. He had just finished his meal, and was looking out the window when I came up to him. It took a moment to get his attention. Once I did, I asked him if he too would allow me to write him a love letter. Cautiously, he said yes. As I sat and wrote, we discussed his major, and how school was going. We talked about him, and his life. In a few short moments the letter was done, and I gave it to him and left for home.

excuse me while I do my tyra banks

Walking out of that building, I can’t put into words how changed I felt. I wasn’t so scared of approaching someone, or talking to someone as they pass me on the sidewalk. I felt the courage to ask for the things I needed and wanted, because I had already asked complete strangers for something I was so scared of asking for. I had asked them for help. You see, each time I made myself utter the words “I need your help, would you be willing to help me?” each time, without exception, I was told (in so many words) “Yes I will help you.” As I left, I felt such joy. The only sorrow in my heart was that I knew I wouldn’t be likely to see these people again. I now felt such a caring for them all-especially those I prayed with-and I was sad to see them go. I had built a connection, even one of just a few short moments. I’m so grateful for this class providing me with that experience. In the future, I pray that I will go out and relive this challenge every time I feel myself becoming closed and guarded. I pray that instead of hiding, I will choose to connect with someone in a way that is different and unorthodox. I pray I will ask for help. Because today I left campus with such hope, hope that I didn’t have before, and I left knowing I had made an impact.  I left knowing I was capable of really making a difference in someone else’s life, and what’s more I left without the fear of doing it.

help somebody in need

On Crossing the Threshold: Journal of an Aspiring Entrepreneur

Recently, I’ve been taking a social innovations class at BYU-I where we are encouraged to keep a journal of what we learn each week. Welcome to entry five of said journal. I’ll be using Joseph Campbell’s theory of The Hero’s Journey as a framework for my posts, each week will be a different stage.

17094258

Crossing the Threshold

Okay, so what is this “crossing the threshold” stage you ask? Well, in an effort to save time here is a pretty fabulous definition from Wikepedia.

“This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.” – Wikepedia
 
hunger-games-character-resolutions-haymitch

In Harry Potter this would be illustrated by boarding the Hogwarts Express and entering the great hall, in Twilight Bella got on a plane to Forks, in the Hunger Games Katniss boarded a train to the capital. As I jumped on a shuttle to come back to school, after visiting my family for the weekend, I thought about all the hero’s from my favorite stories and the times where, they too, had to say goodbye to their families and enter a land very different from their own. In the memories of their stories I found comfort as I was driving away from my “bestest” friends in the whole world. Joseph Campbell once said on the topic of this stage:

“The usual person is more than content, he is even proud, to remain within the indicated bounds, and popular belief gives him every reason to fear so much as the first step into the unexplored. The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky; yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.” [5]  Joseph Campbell

In class Professor Gwilliam said “You have to build specific connections.” When you look at this stage it’s often where our hero’s found their friends, as they crossed the threshold into the unknown they found others to travel with them who had specific talents and abilities that would ultimately help insure the success of the adventure. It is crucial that as we cross the threshold into starting our own innovations we keep our eyes open for the people with the talents and gifts that would help us to create the success of our businesses, and their impacts. In class, we also talked about the importance of creating good habits and why creating habits are so crucial to our success. In social innovation, and in life in general, you have to be someone who can make something happen. This involves carefully developing the habits that form us into the people we need to be to achieve. We need to make our weaknesses our strengths. Something else that came to mind, as I was thinking about our heroes, is how often there is opposition as we are crossing the threshold. So many times they have an idea about what it’s going to be like and so they formulate a plan. Unfortunately, once they get there, that plan somehow falls apart.  This also applies to us. In one of the videos we watched in class Steve Blank’s said,

“No business plan survives the first contact with the customers”

peeta

This leads me to the first question to be answered…

On getting punched in the mouth.

What do you think of the statement by Mike Tyson “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” in reference to starting up a business? How is this statement true regarding brand new enterprises?

You can cross the threshold and start your business with the most brilliant and well thought out plan according to your knowledge and idea of how the new world you are entering will operate and chances are the plan will completely disintegrate. However, the good news is that that isn’t a bad thing. Once your plan reaches your clients or customers, and crosses the threshold with you into the new world, it is going to change. The plan you start with and the plan you end up with will often be very very different, and that is because once you make that move, you are able to receive feedback from those who will actually be using your product, or taking part in your impact. That is amazing. Now, it’s important to have a plan and key points of that plan will often stay in place, yet it’s also important to get out there and see the needs of the people/the traits of this new land you are entering and adjust your plan accordingly.

hunger-games-peeta-caesar

On benefits and limitations

When starting a business, is one business model enough? Why? What are the benefits and what are the limitations?

As I was saying previously we can’t start up a business and build it to be rigid. We won’t be able to sustain it. The world is in constant flux, and we need to be ready to pivot and adapt as we see the needs of the people. Our clients/customers/employees will be changing as human beings every day. We as human beings are in the business of change. Because of this we need to create a mindset that we can found our businesses on that will encourage being multifaceted. In the end one model isn’t enough, not just for sustainability reasons, but because as human beings we are multifaceted and we look for pieces of ourselves in the businesses that we support.

Three-Fingered-Salute-Hunger-Games-1446498672

On crossing the threshold part 2

As I arrived in Rexburg tonight, I was SO excited, my heart was filled with joy. I am so blessed to have this adventure in my life, and as I could see the light of the temple in the distance and as I pulled up to campus it was so clear to me that this is the adventure I’m meant to be on. Though the ache of missing my family was still there, it was soothed by the support and the knowledge that, for now, this is where I belong. This is my adventure.

the-hunger-games-laugh

On “Supernatural” Aid: Journal of an Aspiring Entrepreneur

Recently, I’ve been taking a social innovations class at BYU-I where we are encouraged to keep a journal of what we learn each week. Welcome to entry four of said journal. I’ll be using Joseph Campbell’s theory of The Hero’s Journey as a framework for my posts, each week will be a different stage.

On ‘Supernatural Aid’
The Hero’s Journey stage of receiving supernatural aid, isn’t as strange as you might think. To put it simply as described on Wikipedia:

“Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his guide and magical helper appears or becomes known. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or artifacts that will aid him later in his quest.” (Wikipedia Hero’s Journey)

lightsabor 1

While that gives a good base for understanding this stage, Joseph Campbell’s own words provide a bit more clarity and hint at an application in our own lives.

“One has only to know and trust, and the ageless guardians will appear. Having responded to his own call, and continuing to follow courageously as the consequences unfold, the hero finds all the forces of the unconscious at his side. Mother Nature herself supports the mighty task. And in so far as the hero’s act coincides with that for which his society is ready, he seems to ride on the great rhythm of the historical process.” – Joseph Campbell

When you look at the stages leading up to this, I find it really interesting how, once we finally get past the fear of not being able to succeed, we are given help. Heavenly Father waits for us to first accept the call in word and in heart, before he pours upon us the Heavenly help and guidance we need to achieve the mission he has called us to. Yet, even when we know that that help is waiting, it is still so very difficult to take that leap into the darkness and trust that we will be caught. In the end, when we do leap, it’s not trust we are feeling as we fall but with our teeth gritted, our hearts in our throat, and our eyes shut tight that we hope. We hope, and we plead, and we pray, and hope some more. Sometimes we fall longer than others but in the end we are given the aid we need. Our Heavenly Father places tools, people, mentors even as He Himself is a mentor, into our paths to help us along. He goes before us, preparing His people for our impact and influence.

haymitch 2

On Coping and Dragons
In class we talked about how this work of healing, helping, and hoping takes its toll on us. In this work, we will come away wounded from battle at times. We will have to persevere through watching-and living,-experiences that are heartbreaking. We will have our low points, even with the supernatural aid we are promised. This is where we must do our parts to anticipate the hardship with hope and put in place tools that will help us cope, and will enable us to reach the comfort, and aid, in store for us. Whether it be journaling, crafting, meditation, crocheting, or guest panelist Kimber Tower’s running on her beloved treadmill named Thor, we need to put in place protocol for when the weight of the adventure seems too much for us to carry. As Mrs. Tower talked about, there may be times where we are what is standing between the monsters (or the dragons) and the weak. I can promise, that we won’t be standing alone. We will be given aid, and we must anticipate this and use our tools to ground us at times as well.

hobit

In class we also talked about the need to have a very specific goal of the impact we are trying to make. Whether it be to make the most inspiring radio show in a town of 1,500 people or to end hunger by creating _______ solution or with _______ method in a particular country, we need to have a specific goal of the adventure we are striving to accomplish. If we don’t, it will be easy to become lost and in moments of discouragement, even more overwhelmed. We also talked about gathering a support group and compiling a group of mentors for those moments when we feel lost. The support group acts as the aid we need to cope with the adventure, and the mentors are something to aspire to, to find guidance from and to strive to be like. When you look at our favorite stories you see that the hero often has at least one mentor to guide him as he struggles along the path. Our heroes are not left alone and abandoned to achieve their mission, they are given a guide to help them. It is important that we find those guides and mentors-whether through study or personal relationship- to help us accomplish our missions.

professor x

Is it worth the money and resources to accurately measure impact for a nonprofit organization?

Well, is it worth the potential waste of money and resources not to? That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I look at this question. You see, it not enough simply to make an impact, or to answer the call to adventure, we have to make sure that we are on track to achieving the impact we set out to achieve. Not measuring impact is like going on an adventure without a map, compass, or identifying landmarks. How do we know if we are actually making the difference or making the progress we need to make? Not only that, but if we spend five extra days wandering around in the woods because we are on the wrong path and just don’t know it, that means we are eating up provisions and that is five days of resources that were wasted on the wrong road.

supernatural aid

 

In that case, how can you be sure that the solution an organization is providing is truly accomplishing its goals?

In class, and in our reading, we talked about ways to measure the success of a non-profit organization. In the article Getting Results: Outputs, Outcomes, and Impact by Sean Stannard-Stockton published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review it lists these three areas to assess that forms  a way of measuring these kinds of organizations:

  • Outputs: These are the activities done by the nonprofit. The meals served by a soup kitchen are outputs.
  • Outcomes: These are the observed effects of the outputs on the beneficiaries of the nonprofit. The degree to which the meals served by the soup kitchen reduce hunger in the population served by the soup kitchen.
  • Impact: This is the degree to which the outcomes observed by a nonprofit are attributable to its activities. The impact of the soup kitchen is the degree to which a reduction of hunger in the population they serve is attributable to its efforts. While a soup kitchen might serve a lot of meals and correctly observe that hunger is subsequently less prevalent in the population it serves, the reduction in hunger might simply be attributable to an improving economy, or a new school lunch program or some other activities that are not part of the soup kitchen’s efforts. (Read more here)

haymitch

As we assess each of these areas within our organization we can see if we are making the actual impact we are striving to make. See, we will always be making an impact, but the question we have to constantly ask ourselves-even the question our hero’s must also ask themselves-is are we making the impact we have set out to make? We can’t walk blindly and throw a bunch of effort at a problem and hope that whatever we are doing is solving the actual problem we are trying to solve. We can’t make goals, without assessing the success of what we are doing to achieve those goals.  In the end, measuring our impact is one of those tools that every adventurer needs. It’s the magic wand, or the lightsaber.  We can’t succeed without measuring our impact.

On receiving supernatural aid
In closing, sometimes it is us who stands in the way of receiving the aid we need. Sometimes, much like refusing the call, we refuse the help we need as well. I plead with you not to do that. In the errand of angels, we can’t refuse their help. Don’t just be the help, receive it as well.

Sending my love,

– Cheyenne

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Refusing the Call: Journal of an Aspiring Entrepreneur

Recently, I’ve been taking a social innovations class at BYU-I where we are encouraged to keep a journal of what we learn each week. Welcome to entry three of said journal. I’ll be using Joseph Campbell’s theory of The Hero’s Journey as a framework for my posts, each week will be a different stage.

rollin

The refusal of the call
Often times, even when the Hero is eager to accept the call to adventure, the hero has fears that need to be resolved before he can embark. He has deep rooted doubts as to whether he can truly rise to the challenge, and of his own abilities. These fears, lead the hero to reject the call to adventure at first.  When you look at the story of Tim Ballard of Operation Underground Railroad (as mentioned in my previous post) you see this very clearly. Tim particularly rejected the request to work on the special ops team dealing with crimes against children in the CIA that started his journey towards founding Operation Underground Railroad. You can also see this clearly in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Why this refusal of the call is one of the major qualities that endears the hero in stories/movies to us so much, is because we identify so powerfully with it. Our Heavenly Father will call us to do something, and at first we resist. As human beings we have an extraordinary penchant for fear and self doubt.  Unfortunately, when we doubt our own abilities the first thing we do is run.

human behavior

In this week’s class we were talking about Design thinking and the fear we often have of being the “village idiot” by asking the dumb questions. We discovered that in reality, the “dumb” questions are often what lead to major breakthroughs. We can’t succeed without them. In our textbook, we read a chapter entitled The Role of a Social Entrepreneur (chapter 8), where on page 94 you could find the following quote.

“Frequently, when I traced the change back to its source, I found an obsessive individual working behind the scenes-a person with vision, drive, integrity of purpose, great persuasive powers, and remarkable stamina.” – How to Change the World by David Bornstein

giphy

When you look at this list of qualities you can see that at some point our heroes displayed those characteristics. However, when they first received the call they couldn’t see that within themselves. Often times, we don’t see that either. It usually takes someone else to see those qualities in us. However, we can’t wait until that happens to make our move.

Something else that was talked about in class is that “the worst thing you could do is become a one hit wonder.” In this journey we are in it for the long hall. We can’t just fight one battle, we have to continue to show up in the arena-at times bloodied and raw-and keep fighting- keep moving. We are our Heavenly Father’s warriors and there is much for us to do.

thenug-EpRCE20DrW

Design Thinking, Social Innovation, and the Refusal of the Call
When it comes to creativity, so many times it is easy to believe we just can’t hack it and should leave that stuff to someone else. We view creativity to be so separate from us. There is such a fear of being judged that arises when we contemplate a creative mindset, pursuit, or solution. When asked to do something “creative” our first reaction is to run and say “no I can’t do that, I’m not cut out for that” yet when we come right down to the wire we are, in fact, very creative thinkers. How many times do we see our favorite heroes presented with a problem they just can’t face traditionally, something that challenges them and requires them to create a solution that goes against what they are used to? That’s why Social Innovation and Design Thinking are so connected. We can’t approach our world’s problems with the same thinking that got us to where we are, we have to think differently we have to think creatively-to solve the challenges our world faces.
dont get technical with me

As we choose how to answer to our calls to adventure, it’s so important that we have faith that we will be provided the strengths needed to succeed, and then think differently than what we would normally. If we do so, I believe that we will be given the help-and the direction-to proceed in creating the solutions our world needs.

Over and out,

 – Cheyenne
200_s

Design Thinking and Our Divine Heritage

The creative “type” 
While I was considered a creative type as a child, I believe that it is still so easy to receive the message as we grow up that we simply “aren’t creative” that we just aren’t suited to that way of thinking and acting. Not only that, but there is also a fear of being judged that arises when we contemplate a creative mindset, pursuit, or solution.  So many times it is easy to believe we just can’t hack it and should leave the creative stuff to someone else. However, when we look at our heritage we see that the belief that there are creative and uncreative people in this world is entirely false. As sons and daughters of the most creative being in the universe-even the creator of the universe-it is our divine heritage to be creative beings. Just like we may inherit our mother’s eyes or our father’s hair color we have inherited our Father in Heaven’s divine ability to create. I believe that “Design Thinking” is ultimately “Divine Thinking” we have to elevate ourselves and look at problems in a way that at times goes against the nature of man. Instead of relying only on logic and science, we must take logic and knowledge and elevate it by seeking-and applying-eternal truths. We have to spin things, ask why, go against the norm, and pray to be spiritually guided. I really admired how in the TED talk we were given the opportunity to watch it talked about someone who had looked at something that was an important and helpful creation (the modern MRI machine) but that was causing children so much fear. So, he spun it. He took science and medicine, and he combined it with inspiration he found from say theme parks, storytellers, and artists, and transformed the machines. He then had those operating the machine and working with the children trained by staff at museums, so they could better interact with the children and turn a procedure into a journey. Instead of looking only at how this machine could lead to a healing experience for the child by providing the necessary information about the child’s condition, he turned the machine into a loving and joyful experience for the child who, when you think about it, is probably feeling pretty crappy already from the condition they are suffering from and the discomfort of being away from home in an unfamiliar environment.
“…by small and simply means are great things brought to pass,” Alma 37:6. 
In this field it can be so easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged by the pain we see in the world. There are so many problems that need to be solved, and so much help that is needed. This can lead us to feel like we aren’t capable of creating the solutions we need for these big problems because they are so huge! However, if we can approach social problems with the mindset of small and simple means, then not only will we be able to combat overwhelm, but we will also be able to move forward and foster within ourselves a pattern of “Design Thinking.” Often times we will have limited funds, and limited ability and it won’t be sustainable to create massive-often expensive-solutions. If we can find ways to solve these problems by small and simple means that can scale, we are on the right track to solutions and a healthier world.
Q: State one issue that you are passionate about and how you can use design thinking to find a social solution. Focus on the steps you would take and the questions you would ask rather than solutions themselves.
A: “In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” Marianne Williamson. The above is my all time favorite quote. I am extremely passionate about the family, children, and human connection. Unfortunately our families are becoming increasingly disconnected from each other and our nation is reaping the consequences. Ultimately we are all family, and I believe that the first step to helping-and healing-others is to start at the family unit. As I was looking at this, I wondered what is at the root of our lack of connection with each other. For that matter, what it is that fosters connection in the first place? As I look at the journey of our souls I find a pattern that I’ve come to believe binds us. The most instinctual divine trait in all of us, is the natural curiosity that we possess. It is ingrained within us to learn. I believe that if we can nurture opportunities to learn together as families through wholesome, playful, projects and activities we may be able to find that connection again. That leads me to ask, what are the obstacles standing in the way of us doing that?