January 23, 2018

The Five Year Plan


Do you have a five-year plan? As it is close to New Years, how about a one-year plan for 2011? Those who make a plan are much more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t. What about your company, what’s their plan? How about your country? Still with me? Or have you clicked outta here?

Go have a look at India’s Five Year Plans (Wikipedia link); maybe just look at the recent plan, the Eleventh 2007-2012 (scroll down). This is a country on the move. This is a country with a future. I personally am inspired – that’s a country I could be excited about. They are presently working on the Twelfth Plan, and, it includes social sustainability, aka, universal design. Hummm, maybe I’ll retire in India. What’s our government up to? Obstruction. We can’t even agree on aid for 9/11 first responders. Yea, I’m disappointed (and ashamed).

When it comes to our own lives and this USA of ours, we’re not good planners. So what about your retirement? Will you have enough money? Will your home be livable? How about your neighborhood? Is your local government steering things in the right direction?

As you end 2010 and head into 2011, make a plan. Here is a way to go about it:

  1. Pretend it is December 31, 2011 – what does your life look like? Imagine it the way you want it to be and think about it in the past tense as if it already happened. Be really open in your thinking – no limits. Remember, this has to be the way you want it, the way it turns out, not a made up, quasi-real wish or hope.
  2. Now consider how it could come about. There are actions to take – these are a laundry list of to-do’s. Don’t spend much time on this, it’s the least interesting and the easiest to solve once you have the other bits shaping up.
  3. Now think about why: why do you want this imagined future? Spend time on this – this is where you become passionate.
  4. Think about your core beliefs, what do you really believe? Spend lots of time on this, it’s the high-octane gas in your tank.
  5. When you are done, write this down as if it was a biography, just a paragraph or three. Write in third person and in the past tense.
  6. Show this bio to friends. They should be able to sense your energy and enthusiasm, and, they will now be better able to support you.

Einstein once said that if he had 60 minutes to solve a problem that his life depended on, he would spend the first 55 minutes on coming up with the right question. The same idea is here. Think about your life in the future, 5 years out, 10 or 30 years out. What really will it be? If you get that, the rest is easy.