Archive of ‘Planning’ category
While the two of you have spent the better part of your first two decades of life in school, the reality is that an educational institution is not your best source for learning. There is one source that is infinitely better and more important than any school on the planet–and yet it is the one most people ignore.
Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Yale can’t compete. Even better, this primary source of learning is virtually free. It’s costs you only time. Yet, it’s not a true cost because the value you receive from this source of learning more than compensates for any time invested.
You don’t need a professor or a classroom—or even a textbook—to take advantage of this source of learning. You don’t need to wait for a semester to begin or to even worry about whether you’ll be able to register for this class this semester :-).
All you need is your brain, some time, and a place to record your thoughts. That’s it! So what is this absolute best source of learning? It’s the time you take to evaluate your experience.
And therein is the problem. Most people go through life, from experience to experience, and rarely ever stop to evaluate that experience—which is why most people get stuck doing the same things the same way—over and over again! (more…)
I know that the two of you have a personality preference for spontaneity over planning, for acting by the “seat of your pants” vs. taking intentional and deliberate pre-thought steps, but if you want to get where you want to go faster or accomplish something faster, then you’ll want to add planning and project management to your list of core competencies. Note: In Myers-Briggs language, this is not a “J” vs. “P” issue, this is a life and career management issue (i.e. don’t pass by this lesson).
So, why is this a life and career management issue? Simply put, planners get more done-–and they get it done faster. In the world of time management, the generally accepted time difference is that ONE hour in planning saves THREE to FOUR in execution. Now, think about that statement for a moment. By simply taking the time to plan what needs to be done, you can literally save yourself hours of time that you would have spent just doing/executing (which, over the course of a lifetime, is equivalent to YEARS of time savings)
For example, let’s say you’re working on a project for work. If you don’t take the time to plan, you’ll come up with some general ideas (in your head), make assumptions about what should be done and when (in your head), and then dig in to whatever part seems most interesting to you—which may not be the right place to start or the best way to accomplish your objective.
If, on the other hand, you take the time to plan, you’ll get more clarity on the result you want to accomplish (which may actually change the project). Once you have complete clarity on what the actual result is that you want to achieve, you’ll then figure out what’s the best way to get there, you’ll figure out how to coordinate the different parts of the project so that they work best together in the best sequence, you’ll have a better timeline of what needs to be completed by when (and then work backwards to be assured that everything that needs to be accomplished is accomplished by the right dates), you may find some parts you can delegate out, and finally, if you need to go out and purchase a number of different items, you’ll be able to coordinate the purchase of those items and make one trip vs. multiple ones. At every level, planning achieves a better result—and faster!
Now, I know the two of you tend to think that this is just a dad/INTJ kind of thing—but it’s not. Planning is nothing more than taking the time to get clarity on where you are and where you want to go, and then figuring out the best way to get there. Even though the word, plan, is technically a four letter word, it is NOT a cuss word. Remember, personality preferences aren’t meant to be prescriptive, they’re meant to be descriptive. So, in general, the two of you prefer to be spontaneous. That’s wonderful!
However, your personality preferences aren’t meant to be determinative of your behavior. Just as I have to move outside of my “introversion” preference to interact with people, the two of you have to move outside of your “P” preference to do what is best for you. Even though you may not like lists, don’t fight something that can help you get where you want to go. I guarantee you that you’ll get more done, faster and better, with a list/plan, than you will without one.
Hopefully, I’ve modeled that for the two of you over the years. And while you may feel that planning “isn’t you,” I seriously want to encourage both of you to add more planning into your lives. Trust me on this—it’ll have a positive affect on your relationships, your work, your career, your interests/hobbies, your finances, your dreams, your health, etc. Everything gets better the more intentional you are.
So, please, don’t push this lesson aside. Your life, your career, your time—they’re all dependent upon you adding this core skill of planning and project management to your list of core competencies. You’ll get more done. You’ll get it done faster. You’ll get it done better. You’ll create more time and space for other things. You’ll avoid making a lot of mistakes. You’ll avoid wasting a lot of time. You’ll avoid massive amounts of conflict and miscommunication. And you’ll succeed at a higher level.
With all that at stake, hopefully, you’ll want to add this core skill to your core competencies (and not just think this is a dad thing—because it’s not).
If there’s ever anything that you’re not happy with or want to change on the outside of your life, then the place where you need to begin the process of changing it is on the inside—not the outside. Why? Because of the Law of Correspondence.
What is the Law of Correspondence? It’s an essential life principle that states that what takes place on the outside of your life, corresponds to what’s taking place on the inside of your life. For example, you’ve probably observed over the years that when you’re feeling a little blue, you probably tend to wear sweats and “baggier“ clothes. Why? Because what happens on the outside corresponds to what happens on the inside.
Once you begin to understand this principle, it’ll change how you go about creating any kind of change in your life. For example, if you notice that you’re not utilizing your time well (e.g. choosing to watch a lot of TV rather than doing something you know you should do or doing meaningless activities just to use up time) then you know that something is amiss internally. If you try to move from poor use of time to good use of time, it probably won’t work. Why? Because there’s something going on internally (in your beliefs or attitudes or self-esteem etc.) that is causing you to make poor choices about your time.
Or back to the dress illustration. If you notice that you’re consistently choosing to wear sweats (note: forget about work because work requires you to wear nice clothes, I’m talking about when you’re in complete control of your wardrobe choices), then you know there’s something going on inside. Just to go from sweats to nice casual isn’t the answer—there’s something going on inside that’s causing the behavior. If you change the belief, then you can change the behavior.
This is why it’s so incredibly important to continually work on developing high self-esteem. How you feel about yourself (from your character to your physique to your intelligence to your work to your relational abilities etc.) drives just about everything in your life. The better you feel about yourself, the better you’ll do in just about everything. Why? Because of the Law of Correspondence. If you feel good on the inside, you’ll perform well on the outside.
In addition, whenever you want to change something in your life, you always want to dig down deep and discover what beliefs you have about that area. Why? Because beliefs (internal) determine behaviors (external)—what happens on the inside will work itself out to the outside.
For example, right now I need to lose a few pounds. Using the Law of Correspondence, what’s on the outside is driven by what’s on the inside. Just trying to change the outside by going to the gym and eating healthier is a strategy doomed to fail. Why? Because I have a set of beliefs and emotions that have gotten me to this point. Just trying to change the outside, without working on changing the inside is pure foolishness.
This is why you’ll often hear people say, ”You need to change the picture you have of yourself!“ Why? Because if you change the picture (for ex. from ”I’m not successful“ to ”I am successful“), then you can change the behaviors (from self-sabotage to self-enhancement).
So never forget the Law of Correspondence. If you want to change anything on the outside of your life (i.e. a behavior you don’t like), then make sure you start by looking inside (your beliefs, emotions, self-esteem, etc.) … because ”As within, so without!“
The two of you are both so incredibly talented. There’s virtually nothing that you can’t do. But to get there, you’ll both need to do some head work because the Law of Correspondence is inviolate-able. “As within, so without,” is a rock solid principle you need to own and use to your advantage.
As I’ve mentioned before, most people like the idea of being better or being more successful or being fit or being happy or being in a great relationship—but yet they don’t really want those things—despite what they might say. Why do I say that? Because they’re not willing to do what’s necessary to obtain the very thing they say they want.
I’m sure you’ve observed this phenomenon among your peers. You probably have friends who’ve told you that they’d like to get good grades, yet they’re not willing to do the hard work necessary to get good grades. Instead they continue to play and party all day and night with their friends. Or you probably have friends who say they’d like to get healthy and in shape, yet they aren’t willing to change their eating habits or get up early to go to the gym. So do they really want to be healthy and fit? I don’t think so.
If you really want something—and it’s more than just a “like to have” or “sounds like a good idea” kind of thing—then you’re going to have to avoid doing what most people choose to do—and instead make some sacrifices. Why? Because there is no success without sacrifice.
The American ideal of, “You can have it all!” is a flat out lie. No one can have it all. In order to obtain anything worthwhile in life, you have to make sacrifices. You have to give up something NOW in order to obtain something that you perceive to be better LATER. It’s always been that way and it always will be. Remember, first you make your choices, then your choices make you.
1. If you’d like to be healthy and fit, then you have to be willing to say, “No!” to most of the food choices put in front of you. And you’re going to have to give up some other activities (which could include some sleep) in order to get some exercise in. No one gets healthy and fit by eating whatever they want and not exercising. Sacrifices have to be made. Why? Because there is no success without sacrifice.
2. If you want to be a successful employee, then you have to be willing to do some of the things most employees won’t. You’ll have to sacrifice some of “your time” so you can do work before or after the hours you’re required to work. You’ll have to read more or take more courses. You’ll have to say, “No!” to getting together with friends from time to time in order to get a project done or to volunteer for an extra assignment or to make sure you get to bed on time so you can be fully engaged at work the next day. Why? Because there is no success without sacrifice
3. If you’d like to be in a great relationship with a guy (yeah, I know, I can’t believe I just wrote that either :-), then you have to be willing to make some sacrifices. One of the things we clearly learn from Jesus’ example is that love is all about sacrifice. Love is not about convenience (a mistake too many people make). Love is about putting someone else’s needs above your own. Note: don’t read anything more into that statement than is intended. Your needs still matter and you shouldn’t be in a relationship with a guy who doesn’t get this principle. Love is a two-way street full of mutual love and sacrifice. And hopefully, your mother and I have modeled that well for the two of you.
4. Finally, if you’d like to change anything in your life that you don’t like, then just realize that you’re going to have to make some sacrifices. The bottom line is this—if you could be different just by wishing you were different, then you’d already be different. But you’re not, because you can’t just wish to be different. If you want to be different, you have to give up some of the things you’re currently doing, in order to get something better in the future. It’s always been that way, and always will be.
If you want to succeed at anything in life–and I don’t care if it’s playing the piano or starting a business or getting straight A’s or winning a tennis tournament or being a great parent someday–never forget the title of this post. Make it one of your mantras. Write it on a bunch of stickies and place them around your home and workplace. Why? Because there is no success without sacrifice! Period.
P.S. And as Zig Ziglar likes to say, “You don’t really pay the price, you get to enjoy the price.”
Now, before you misread that statement, let me be clear, I didn’t say, “Be late!” I said, “Forget being on time!” Why? Because it’s virtually impossible to be right on time. To find two people’s watches (or cell phones) to be in sync is a rare experience (and clearly not in sync for the same second).
In fact, I was recently at a meeting where someone was running late. The four of us who were already in the conference room checked our cell phones and noticed that all four of us had different times (and two of us were using the same cell phone carrier!). So forget being on time. Instead, be early!
Now, I know both of you tend to run late. So let me encourage you to consider that what drives lateness isn’t something that you want to drive your behavior (or mark your life) … selfishness. And let me share this from my own experience.
For years I’ve always run a few minutes late. Why? Because I was always trying to get “one last thing done.” Then when I moved from being the senior pastor of a church (where everyone was waiting to meet with me) to being a consultant, I started showing up earlier. And that’s when it dawned on me that for years, my lateness was driven by selfishness. Showing up late because I had to get work done (so they had to wait on me) wasn’t the mark of a servant. It was all me-focused–not other-focused.
Now, none of this was intentional. I never thought, “I care more about me and my time than theirs. So what if they have to wait?” But that is what it said to the other person. And now that I have to wait for some clients now, I’m even more aware of that.
So, my encouragement is that you always shoot to be early (as hard as that is for the two of you). And the key to being early, is to create margin. In other words, you have to stop pushing everything to the last moment, assuming that the world will be in perfect alignment and allow you to get from point A to point B in the best, most optimal time. Just because you made it ONE TIME in ten minutes, doesn’t mean that’s how long it will normally take (which is probably closer to 15 minutes).
In other words, it’s better to assume that something will go wrong and prolong your trip, than it is to assume that everything will go perfectly and you’ll arrive in the optimal amount of time. In addition, by choosing to create margin and arriving early, you’ll not only communicate to the other person that they matter to you, you’ll also greatly reduce your stress (and the chance of getting a speeding ticket :-).
So forget being on time! And start arriving early. It’s a great life lesson that’ll serve you well for the rest of your life.