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Embracing the Spirit of Francis of Assisi in the Workplace: From the Necessary to the Impossible


Christopher E. Maynard


n the fast-paced and competitive world of work, achieving success often seems like a daunting task. However, as the words of Francis of Assisi remind us, progress is made by taking one step at a time. His timeless quote, "Start by doing the necessary, then the possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible," encapsulates the journey of the individual in the workplace. This article explores how adopting Francis of Assisi's approach can empower individuals to overcome challenges, maximize their potential, and achieve extraordinary results in their professional lives.

As we delve deeper into Francis of Assisi's insightful words, we explore how adopting his approach of starting with the necessary and progressing towards the possible and the impossible can empower individuals to overcome challenges and achieve remarkable results in the workplace.

Section 1: The Power of the Necessary

At the core of Francis of Assisi's philosophy is the understanding that every journey begins with the necessary. In the workplace, this means focusing on the fundamental tasks and responsibilities assigned to us. By taking a proactive and diligent approach towards fulfilling these obligations, we build a solid foundation for future growth and success. This includes setting achievable goals, managing time effectively, and honing essential skills required for our roles. By mastering the necessary, we demonstrate reliability and competence, earning the trust and respect of our colleagues and superiors.

Section 2: Expanding Horizons with the Possible

Once we have established a strong foundation, it is time to venture into the realm of the possible. Francis of Assisi encourages us to embrace opportunities beyond our comfort zones and explore new avenues for personal and professional growth. This phase involves being open to learning, seeking feedback, and taking calculated risks. It requires the willingness to step into unfamiliar territory, adapt to changing circumstances, and embrace innovation. By pushing the boundaries of what we believe is possible, we unlock our potential and cultivate a mindset of continuous improvement.

Section 3: Conquering the Impossible

As we progress through the necessary and the possible, we inevitably encounter challenges that may appear insurmountable at first. However, it is precisely at this juncture that Francis of Assisi's words hold the most significance. By persevering and maintaining a determined spirit, we can transform what once seemed impossible into a reality. This stage requires resilience, creativity, and unwavering belief in our abilities. We must approach obstacles as opportunities for growth, learn from setbacks, and leverage our strengths to find innovative solutions. By embracing the seemingly impossible, we become catalysts for change, inspiring others around us and leaving a lasting impact in the workplace.

Section 4: The Ripple Effect

When individuals embody Francis of Assisi's philosophy in the workplace, their transformative journeys have a ripple effect on the entire organization. Their dedication to the necessary sets the standard for excellence, motivating others to do the same. By embracing the possible, they inspire a culture of innovation and foster an environment where creativity thrives. Finally, by conquering the impossible, they become beacons of hope and resilience, encouraging their colleagues to rise above challenges and strive for greatness. This collective mindset of continuous growth and accomplishment propels the organization forward and establishes a reputation for success.

Section 5: Overcoming Obstacles and Adversity

In the pursuit of the impossible, obstacles and adversity are bound to arise. However, it is through these challenges that true character is forged. Francis of Assisi's words remind us that every obstacle is an opportunity for growth and transformation. When faced with setbacks or difficult situations in the workplace, it is essential to maintain a positive mindset and a solution-oriented approach. By viewing challenges as stepping stones rather than roadblocks, we can find the strength and determination to overcome them. Embracing a growth mindset allows us to learn from failures, adapt to changing circumstances, and develop resilience, ultimately propelling us towards achieving the impossible.

Section 6: Collaboration and Support

While Francis of Assisi's quote emphasizes individual progress, it is important to remember that success in the workplace is rarely achieved in isolation. Collaboration and support from colleagues, mentors, and leaders play a crucial role in enabling individuals to reach their full potential. By fostering a culture of teamwork and open communication, organizations create an environment where individuals can leverage each other's strengths and collectively work towards achieving ambitious goals. Together, they can pool their diverse talents, ideas, and perspectives to tackle complex challenges that would be impossible to overcome individually. Encouraging collaboration and providing a supportive network empowers individuals to surpass their limitations and achieve extraordinary outcomes.

Section 7: Inspiring Others

As we embark on our journey from the necessary to the impossible, we have the opportunity to inspire those around us. By embodying the spirit of Francis of Assisi's words, we become role models for others in the workplace. Our dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment serve as a source of motivation for colleagues and teammates. We have the power to ignite the spark of possibility in others, encouraging them to push beyond their boundaries and strive for greatness. As we witness others stepping out of their comfort zones and achieving their own remarkable feats, the ripple effect of our own journey becomes apparent, creating a culture of inspiration and excellence.


Francis of Assisi's words continue to resonate with individuals in the workplace, offering guidance and encouragement in their pursuit of professional success. By following the path from the necessary to the possible, and ultimately to the impossible, individuals can unleash their full potential, overcome challenges, and achieve extraordinary results. The journey requires dedication, resilience, collaboration, and an unwavering belief in one's abilities. As we progress through each stage, we inspire and empower those around us, fostering a culture of growth and innovation in the workplace. By embracing the wisdom of Francis of Assisi, we transform our individual journeys into transformative experiences that leave a lasting impact on ourselves, our colleagues, and the organizations we serve. So let us embark on this remarkable journey, starting with the necessary, venturing into the possible, and embracing the impossible, for it is in this journey that we discover our true potential and make our mark in the workplace and beyond.


About Francis of Assisi


Francis of Assisi, born in 1181 or 1182 in Assisi, Italy, was an Italian Catholic friar, mystic, and preacher. He is widely recognized as one of the most revered and influential saints in Christian history. Francis is known for his deep devotion to God, his love for all of creation, and his commitment to a life of simplicity, poverty, and service to others. He founded the Franciscan Order, which emphasized living in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ and promoting peace, humility, and compassion. Francis of Assisi's spiritual legacy continues to inspire millions of people around the world. After his death, Francis of Assisi was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church. He is commonly referred to as "Saint Francis of Assisi" to acknowledge his sanctity and the significant impact he had on the Church and the world.

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