It is really difficult to meet someone who has had a linear, planned out, perfect life, much less a predictable planned week. The number of variables to manage are too vast. The accident you did not plan for happened. The new competitor who got to market faster was not on the roadmap. Reality did not play out according to the financial plan or family budget that was meticulously engineered.
Plans are great, and often necessary, as long as we see them as a guide rather than the measure of failure or success. No plan is perfect. They are simply a tool to get to the goal. As a business coach, I have too often seen conflicting behaviors in people who would aspire towards their passion, yet they are stopped because they cannot see the perfect plan. Because the first ten steps are not clear, they do not even take the first step.
Far be it that you should miss the opportunities your heart desires to pursue because of the lack of security in perfect steps. The reality is that we do not start with answers in ventures that are new and worthwhile for us. We start with conviction. When a person presses me for certainty of process, the questions are typically based in their unspoken fear of failure. The debate moves to the “How” instead of the “What”. The latter is much more important. What is it you want? If you are clear on this, then the “How” becomes clear because you pursue your “Want” with passion. Think about it. There are things in your life that you wanted. You started with your desire and your commitment to your goal whether selfish or noble. When I was a teen, I can remember wanting a new mountain bike. It did not matter that I did not have a job or any savings. I was determined to have a new bike. That desire focused me. I found a job quickly and made the money I needed to buy the bike and all the accessories I thought were cool at the time. That process can be found as a common thread in my life for the things I have achieved, bought, and attained. How I got what I wanted was due to the following valuable pieces which work in all our lives:
- Desire Stronger Than Obstacles: When we are clear on what we want, then we are committed. Committment helps us face the obstacles. Everything you want has obstacles. If you see problems, then you are not able to overcome. If you see possibilities and answers because your desire is pulling so strongly, then nothing can stop you permitting your desire is in the realm of possibility. Don’t have half-goals. Have strong desire and make it clear to yourself why you want more success or more resources or more friends. If the answer is real and resonates with your core values, then you will find a clarity in your pursuit.
- Agility Beats A Straight Line: Your ability to change when new information or challenges come your way is pivotal. Most people in life face adversity with a faintness of heart. Rather than seeing adversity as part of the process of cordoning off the path to the goal, they see it as failure. This is dangerous thinking. Adversity, which is plentiful and waiting, will govern the boundaries of your desires rather than what you want. Know that the plan is shifting because you cannot plan all the information into your rudimentary assumptions. Think about rock climbers. From the ground, their vantage point is far different than halfway up the cliff. They make preliminary plans on what route to take to the top, but when they are in the moment and close, there is new perspective. The holds may be different, so they have to adjust. They have a guide, but not a rule. So must your life be in order to get in the game of pursuing your desire.
- Momentum and Effort Are the Fuel: Newton established that inertia is real in our physical world. A body in motion and a body at rest have tendency to remain in their state. It is hard to change states. You are either in the talking or the action state. When you only talk about your desires or goals, you are a body at rest. When you are moving through action, then this feeds your focus and navigation. Never underestimate momentum. Keep it going until you get to your desired outcome. Restarting is hard.
Plans are not meant to be perfect. They are our framework for taking the first steps. Don’t worship the plan. If you are not getting started on things you talk about rather than act on, then examine your paralysis. Inertia may be taking hold. Get clear on the end goal. Get a first set of plans. Do them until they do not work and make them align constantly to your conviction of the end goal. That is how winning is done.