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I’m Off to See the Wizard

Feb. 25, 2020
Each of us has the power within us to “Get Home!” We need only to trust and believe that we can be our own Wizard.

Words. They trigger pictures and bring about emotion. Positive or negative. If they come from a source we trust and believe, they can predict and perpetuate the future.

Do you remember watching the classic film with Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz? The book, written by L. Frank Baum, was published in 1900 by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago when Frank was 44 years old. It changed his life. Up to that point he struggled to make ends meet. The story and its component parts were compiled from events in his life spanning over 30 years. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces finally came together to form an extraordinary picture.

The protagonist was a young girl and her dog who simply wanted to find a way to get home. A charming and heartwarming goal. Along the way she assembled a team of likeminded misanthropes who also doubted whether they had what it took to achieve their objectives. A Scarecrow, a Tin Man, a Lion and of course, her little dog, Toto. Each character doubted their abilities but somehow believed in the mission. If they followed the Yellow Brick Road, they could solicit the help of an all-powerful being who would have the answers they sought.

Along the way, they faced adversity (led by a Wicked Witch, the personification of evil) and her army of Flying Monkeys. When they finally reach the Wizard, they find out he is a fake, a charlatan. It was all smoke and mirrors. He does however give them a great gift, the gift of BELIEF. You see, every new belief has the word LIE right in the middle! Knowing this, the Wizard provides symbols of the new belief. The Scarecrow receives a diploma to prove he is smart. The Tin Man receives a ticking heart-shaped clock to symbolize that he has a heart. The Lion receives a medal that proves he is brave. Once received, they begin to ACT in those ways and Dorothy finally gets home. The irony in this fable is, “They had what they needed all along!” 

Each of us has the power within us to “Get Home!” We need only to trust and believe that we can be our own Wizard. What symbols can you use with your team? What if you engaged in the following actions?

  • What is YOUR #1 goal? Where is your bus going? How badly do you want it? We must first make a heartfelt and sincere DECISION to achieve something near and dear to our hearts. The objective must be emotionalized and strong.
  • Write out exactly what you want. Make it a single goal, written down as if it were already true. Be sure it is personal, positive, powerful and present tense. Focus on it to the exclusion of everything else. BELIEVE you have the courage and ability to achieve it!
  • Assemble your team of people who believe in your goal. Make certain they possess the strengths and skills that you lack. Treat them well. Trust them to provide you with the necessary support needed to achieve your number one goal. Give them a symbol that supports your belief in them.
  • Be willing to bounce back from adversity. Setbacks, challenges and roadblocks are going to happen. Fail forward! A.B.C. = Always Be Consistent! Constancy of purpose is what is needed. Knocked down seven times, stand up eight! Stay the course. Be persistent and learn from your mistakes.
  • Understand the WHY of your WHAT! You must have highly emotionalized reasons to get you through. The objective must have meaning and purpose. Sometimes we only need one good reason to keep the flame of purpose lit. Emotional reasons will pull us to the future!
  • Find mentors (your Good Witch) who can provide the tools and inspiration you need to stay the course. Your mentors have done what you want to do and been where you want to go. You will need their support more than once as you travel your Yellow Brick Road.
  • Celebrate your progress along the way. WINS! Capture the good things that happen. Whatever gets rewarded gets repeated. Share the credit and honor and respect those committed teammates. They will see you through to the end of your road.

I have worked hard on my writing gifts over the years, and like Frank Baum, my children have provided the inspiration to stay on my own “Yellow Brick Road.” I have become my own Wizard and you can too. It turns out, each of already possesses the necessary tools needed to get home. After all, “There is no place like home!” Now what did I do with those ruby slippers?

Make it a great 2020, unless you have other plans!

Goal-setting is a fundamental component of leadership, which sets the tone for your company from the top down. To download a free leadership training package, replete with online courses, worksheets for developing company vision and core values, industry research, and much more, visit

Mark Matteson is an inspiring speaker and the author of the international bestseller, Freedom from Fear. For over 20 years, Mark’s positive humor and peak-performance tools have impacted organizations around the globe, igniting personal and professional success for tens of thousands of people. To watch a few short videos showcasing Mark, visit To book Mark, call 206/697-0454 or email [email protected]. You can subscribe to his podcast using the below links:


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