Austin Powers & The Wolves of Yellowstone

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, researchers and Park Rangers chose to number the wolves instead of naming them. This decision was made as an intentional precaution to reduce emotional attachment and possible human intervention.

They understood that naming the beings increased attachment and reduced their ability to be passive bystanders.

In the Goldmember edition of Austin Powers, the legendary Nigel Powers (Austin Powers’s father) reminds us that unnamed characters are easily dispatched, many times without so much as a fight.

“Do you know who I am? Do you know how many anonymous henchmen I’ve killed? You haven’t even got a name tag! Why don’t you just lie down and let me go?”

The takeaway lesson for us:

The anonymous and unnamed are more easily discarded.

Our unnamed dreams are more easily killed than those with a name, face, and voice.

We can use this psychological phenomenon to our advantage by giving name to our goals and visions.

How many times have you – or someone you know – uttered:

“I want to do more. Other things. Big things. Great things… or “I have so much that I can teach others. I have so much that I want to share.”


Be specific. Give them a name.

Giving them a name brings them to life and gives them voice and power.

Does it guarantee success? No, nothing in this life is guaranteed.

BUT, at least they won’t be unnamed wolves or anonymous henchmen destined to be written out of the story without a fight.

Give your dreams and visions a name. Give them a face, breathe life into them, and make it exponentially harder to cut them loose or walk away from them in your moments of temptation or struggle.

Give name, life, and power to your dreams. Let them breathe so the sparks can burn into a raging inferno. Bring your dreams to life.

Ready to try it? Do this:

Pretend you’re at a conference and the organizer has asked you to fill a vacant time slot on the stage. You have 5 minutes to prepare a 20-minute talk. What would your topic be? What would you share about that important topic? How would you positively impact the audience? WRITE IT DOWN.

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