Scott Berkun once said, ‘Everything is like a project’ That’s the action taker’s attitude. It’s the attitude everyone needs to embrace. A random glance at the blogosphere will tell you that we don’t have many of those people around us anymore. Ideas keep floating around without any actual practical value. They die in the psyche.
A project is any set of activities that is so laid out to achieve a certain goal. The project comprises of time schedules, goal marks, people to do the work and tasks to be accomplished.Very simple to think through in such a format. But in actual sense a lot of unknowns are left out in the practical work. So when you’re planning to pass that exam, what you have there is a project. When you want to go party and have an awesome night, its still a project. It may be a casual project without much thought and consideration but it a project nonetheless.
The real problem in staying on course comes when we subconsciously create and pursue our daily projects is that the project goal is never defined completely. First of all, we might not even be sure whether or not we want to achieve the goal. Which becomes a unknown variable in the equation. Just like any algebra sum, we all know that an unknown variable is a part of the problem. If it is an unknown variable then it has a value and so our need is to find out whether or not we want to achieve the goal. There are two ways of doing this.There is the theoretical method and the practical method. In the theoretical method, if we assess our attitudes towards the goal critically, two questions come to mind. Would I feel ok giving up on this goal because I’m not really interested in it? and Do I feel that it’s imperative to focus solely on this goal in the period that I set out to achieve it? The first will immediately bringing up the values for which you seek to achieve the goal. And it will definitely be answer for those moments when you ask yourself how to stay focused.
Amplifying these values will create more significance to the goal. This means zeroing in on the reasons you chose to consider such a goal in the first place. If you can achieve the goal alongside others, the better for you. If you can’t then you have to compare the values of different goals and decide which will come first.
Going in head first
The practical method is more fun. In the practical method, one simply immerses themselves headfirst into the journey of finding out whether they want to achieve the goal. In the course of this journey certain experiences may appeal to you and expose values you are actually looking to satisfy by pursuing that goal. A good example is taking a job you little about. Your goal is simply to have a good job but you’re not sure you picked the right one. This sort of describes our education system. Unfortunately, you might end up at loss if nothing in particular attracts you toward completing the journey of your chosen career. The chances of this? Highly improbable. The practical method hence demands that an assumption is made before hand that there already exists a value in taking on the journey toward the goal waiting to be discovered.You dont want to pcik a career as a janitor if nothing at all attracts you to this kind of lifestyle.
Once such a value is found, one needs to focus on it in order to amplify it as a driving force for securing motivation for the general goal. At first you may not know exactly how to stay focused but with experience it all becomes clear. Think of the practical method as trial and error process to finding a solution.
Once the value of the goal is found, its size can be randomly assigned as large.You want to pass the exam? Fine. But whats a pass to you? Is making it past the passmark a pass to you? If so by how much? Then again how important is it that you reach that exact mark? Would you prefer to go for a certain range, say 70 – 80 percent? The more defined the goal’s size is the easier it is to work towards it. Numbers create clarity and convergence of intention. Not all the time, but most of the time. Once both the need for the goal and the size of that need have been set then the project can begin and actual operational planning can ensue.
The trick about operational planning is that most of the time we do not know everything that we need to carry out operations. Finding out what we need is the first mile in the actual journey of achieving our goals. It is also important because assumptions are avoided hence bettering our chances for success. Information should however never get in the way of timely action taking. The challenges we might meet at this stage are many. From this point onward the journey of achievement is a quick feedback system that provides us with all the information we need. Any reaction from the real world becomes a source of information for our use and control and it’s accuracy can never be doubted. Being rejected by banks when trying to get a loan, is a signal that something is missing. Finding out this ‘something’ becomes a part of our feedback based data collection operatives. This in turn improves our skill set.
It is our ability to zone down on each of the critical but minute problems and figure out what it takes to solve them that eventually enhances our overall success. In such a case problem solving becomes as easy as playing a video game.