by Mike Lally
First a tricky question: “What do you want?”
Or more precisely: “What do you want to create?”
Spending time to fully consider this simple but at times extraordinarily complex question can result in a huge payoff.
Of course, the answer depends upon the context and the seriousness of what is being considered.
It should not be surprising to learn that many people can speedily tell you want they don’t want, but struggle articulating what they truly do want.
Perplexity, hesitancy, uncertainty and confusion seem to bewilder the imagination.
Knowing what you want can lead to another big question:
What makes an outcome worthwhile?
Now several aspects of the outcome need to be investigated.
For example, is the outcome congruent?
Does it make sense?
And does it ring true for you?
If this isn’t forthcoming it appears to herald unconscious self-sabotage.
You either bring it on or face insurmountable obstacles.
Hey, if you don’t actually know where you want to go, you may as well stay pretty well where you are!
What is needed for the conditions surrounding an outcome to make sense?
Well, to be definitive, it must be well-formed.
But, what is the meaning of “well-formed?”
Academics love theory and it is accepted that observation of phenomena has proven to be a scientific imperative.
Obviously theory has its place, and is vital, BUT thought has to be translated into action for something to be achieved.
Wanting something is unfortunately not quite the same as getting it.
To get something requires commitment, determination, perseverance and, above all, an action plan.
If an outcome is well-formed all of this becomes much clearer.
So, the first step is to make an outcome well-formed.
How is this achieved?
Due consideration should be given to why something is wanted, what it is wanted for, who in your world will it affect, what is the best among many possible approaches, how long will it take, what cost is involved, and whether you have the will, ability and energy to achieve it.
In short, is it worth it?
This is unlike taking a static position on something because flexibility is more than likely to be needed, probably in bucket loads.
A well-formed outcome must be stated explicitly – what is positively wanted.
All notions based on negative thinking must be abandoned. It cannot be about what you don’t want.
The more thought that goes into this process the more identifiable the pathway becomes.
Creativity, planning, fine-tuning and being critical of the steps accepted are all critical components.
And all of this can be done in minutes once serious focus and clarity is applied.
When you think about your goal ask these questions:
What are you thinking?
What are you feeling?
What is happening inside your body?
What are you telling yourself?
Allow yourself to visualise, hear and feel what is happening on the inside.
Making a strong internal representation is a key driver.
This, of course, provides sensory based evidence that the outcome is truly desired.
Once what is wanted is clarified your attention can be directed towards securing the future by taking the first step and moving forward steadily towards the goal.
At the end of the day all outcomes are merely a series of associated tasks.
All worthwhile goals should be tacked holistically and ideally based on ninety-five percent inspiration and just five percent perspiration.
Being cognisant of how an outcome affects others will be acknowledged as part of this thorough preparation.
A final word about the ecology of the outcome:
As indicated, the outcome must make sense in terms of cost, time and benefits.
It must be quantifiable.
Do you have the necessary skills, time and resources to tackle the goal?
If the outcome fails this test it will not be worth the effort.