Focus and Planning 2

12 August 20090, by A. Cedilla

In part one we advised you to follow in St. Nick’s footsteps and write everything down, but the second part we hadn’t mentioned is counter-intuitive– don’t stick to the plan 100% of the time.

Aside from the truth that “no plan survives contact with the enemy,” sticking to The Plan, The Plan, must stick to The Plan, can’t leave The Plan… can mean that your fixation on crossing off each item on the list leaves you blind to the reason why there’s a list in the first place.

The list is a plotted-out course on a mental map, it is not the actual territory, and it is not your over-all goal. Never confuse the map with the territory. That would be like learning to drive from watching a video on the internet.

What else can you arrange to boost your chance of successfully achieving your goals?

Know where things are so you can get to them when you need them, fast. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is something we learn in kindergarten, you put the toys back and clean up, right?

Making sure you know where your stuff (contacts, resources, mentors, tools, etc.) is does 3 things:
1) You get to assess what your really have in your life so you can retain what works and let go of what doesn’t. You also get to see what needs to be changed or updated.
2) You are reminded of how much you’ve already achieved, and using that knowledge can spur you to work with much more confidence in your capabilities.
3) You build a habit into your life that would positively affect all aspects of that life.

Remove distractions – they snag, draw you off course — and take your attention away from what matters. You know this. How many times did a passing look at the television turn into a quick sit-down–a really fast one, you swear–and suddenly leaves you blinking at the clock and swearing at yourself for forgetting the time?

If you think something is important enough, well then, dammit, back it up and treat it as important. Put the non-important stuff off your plate.

Don’t be afraid to get dirty or tired – you can wash up, get the sweat off and rest, because nothing difficult is forever.

Many times the drudge-work we’re avoiding or the difficult decision we put off making is something we build up in our minds as “boring” or “hard”. That’s an emotional decision , “Don’t wanna, don’t wannaaa…” and one which makes often makes things harder for you unnecessarily.

Expect imperfections – people live with them every day, it’s not the end of the world, or work, or life, if things don’t go 100% according to plan.

Really, being disappointed because things didn’t reach up to an unrealistic ideal would leave you with a poor and dreary life.

Learn to let go – because once you give it, it’s not your anymore, it’s out there, it’s gone.

The emotional investment in a project can have a positive boost on your health. But when things go wrong, as they often do, over-investment can result in a long-term litany of “I should’ve’s” that can leech your momentum and eat you up from the inside out.

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