Managing lives effectively requires finding out what we don’t know, but need to know. But if life is an ongoing ‘crap game’, what are the odds a gambler will live the life of her dreams?
Even in my little corner of the globe, in person and through the internet, many people ask me to help with more or less complex problems such as these:
- “Should i accept my first teaching-job offer, even if it’s a school in South Korea?”…
- “Should i leave my abusive partner with whom i’ve lived for 15 years?”…
- “Should i move across the country for that higher paying IT job?”…
- “I hate how i seem to be on a treadmill going nowhere. How can i become that someone who knows where they’re going and how to get there?
- “Should i go back to school, leaving the job i hate and the security it offers so i can do what i really love with my life?”…
…. Such life-changing questions are being asked and answered every day by people across our planet. I also see how many were never taught how to make complex decisions mindfully.
This is what i believed 51 years ago when my “best laid plans of mice and men” were derailed. Thanks to an out of control driver and his four wheel missile, i lost a lot of memories, how many i’m still finding out. My personality also seemed to have been replaced with a stranger’s and i had lost the use of much of my body with a less than positive prognosis for a full recovery. I was faced with a blank slate, or so i mistakenly thought.
The pain of physiotherapy for months took my mind off my insecure future, was worth the efforts, but then i found out that the real work was about to begin. Looking back on my life, i had obviously done what i needed to do. But it took years of study, experience, reflection, and learning for me to articulate how i managed to become more than i had been before my imposed metamorphosis.
Unfortunately, many believe that their outcomes will depend mainly on chance, luck some call it.
When you are facing challenging decisions, here are three critical elements you will need to consider if you plan on getting what you need and want.
- You need to appreciate what you know.
- You need to identify what you don’t know, and need to know.
- You need to know what part of what you want to do can be done now, what parts needs to wait, and what they need to wait for. Timing will always make a difference.
Most successful people will admit that luck played a part in achieving their successes; most also agree with Branch Rickey’s aphorism: “Luck is the residue of design?”
Many years ago, I interpreted Rickey’s words to mean that if i plan effectively, 2 benefits will accrue;
- First, i will the minimize the potential damage inflicted by unexpected bad-luck bombs;
- Second, i will allow good luck to jump in so i can satisfy what i set out to accomplish.
That’s been my experience. So before, during, or after i make plans important to me and my life, i perform a S.W.O.T analysis. I use this tool to analyze my plans, my actions, my outcomes as a reality unfolds; and always, i apply it to myself.
Reality for me is always the bottom line, whether i like the outcomes or not!
We can never envision everything which might happen, but we can mitigate the potential damage of threats which could happen.