Let’s talk bottom line first:
You need to know WHAT you want as a result BEFORE you can choose the means you’re going to use to get it, and what sort of resources, materials, and conditions will be required.
Well, you would be surprised at how often someone sets off in pursuit of a goal without knowing what they need to accomplish that goal.
This leads to project failures and delays and BIG-TIME disappointment when obstacles and blockages and nine kinds of hellishness seem to arise magically and cut across one’s path – when in reality what is arising was inevitable and even predictable.
It comes down to poor resource planning, from a poor understanding of what the goal specifically is.
Even for smaller tasks or planning; the specificity of what you are creating allows you to do the thinking to determine the most appropriate means, and also, what must be brought together to do it successfully.
The specific characteristics of the goal determines:
- What to do
- What is needed to do it
- How to do it.
It gives you the information to determine what you have available and what you need to gather.
It is perfectly okay to say, “I have bread, butter, a toaster, peanut butter, strawberry jam, eggs, milk, tea… hmmmmmm…
I wonder… what could I do with these? I wonder… I wonder…?” but that is different from building a system that creates a specific kind of result, more consistently.
We are starting to work on connecting intentionality to assessing resources available and resources still needed.
This requires some practice to get it to work elegantly and accurately (some people have a real issue with dealing with what they don’t know… but we’ll sort that out in future posts).
There are many different kinds of results and goals that are possible and with sufficient detail, regarding the result, you might find some things are much easier than you thought, while others are more difficult than you had imagined.
Making mountains out of molehills; failing to assess the real needs in a situation; not checking for the straightest, simplest path – all of these can be prevented by learning to stop and think about what result we want; THEN asking “In order for this to happen; what is the process (or sequence of processes), and what resources are required to do it?”
For the moment, “I don’t know” is a GREAT answer. “I don’t know” means “Find out…” – if you hit an I don’t know, turn it into “Find how to…”, or “find out what X is…”, or whatever you need.
Take five minutes and, as an exercise or drill for sharpening your resource-head, choose a small to medium sized project or goal you are working on.
- Write down what the end results will be – use sensory specific language and make sure that that statement of the result is crystal clear. Then ask yourself:
- What process, or processes, (sequences of actions) are required for these results to be created?
- What resources do I have, and what resources do I need to gather, acquire or arrange?
- Boil this down to one page with a clear statement of the result at the top, the sequence of actions, and the resources in place at each stage.