WAYS TO TEST WHETHER A PLAN IS REALISTIC
Q: Although I am a strong believer of planning, I am only getting a 5 percent success rate to the most. Before I lose my faith in planning, I need help to do this well for greater success.
A: A key reason why a plan fails is because it is either too unrealistic and/or too rigid, with little room for flexibility. Planning is similar to having a meal; some prefer a light one while others prefer a heavier one. The good thing is both can lead to the same results. So, whether your planning is briefed or detailed, depends on the need for it. What is certain, however, is that a plan has to be realistic so that practical actions and resources can be called forth to make it happen.
One way to ensure that the plan is realistic (and accurate) is to use a ‘backward plan’ approach. The first thing to do is to set your key objective and then work backwards to identify the key areas (and requirements) needed to support the plan.
For instance, a grand wedding banquet will require more focus in areas such as detailed protocol and crowd control than a simple wedding dinner for 50 guests. Factor in the contingencies (or buffers) in the plan because no matter how seamless it is, there may be some deviations, which you should be prepared for.
As long as you take all these into account with the bigger objective in mind, then you can tell yourself that your plan is realistic and can be achieved.
• What do you want to achieve?
• When do you need to complete it?
• What resources are needed?
• In working backwards, what key areas are needed to support this plan?
FIND PERSONAL SPACE FOR HIGHER SELF AWARENESS
Q: Although I strongly feel that people are a product of their environment, I find it strange that two people from the same background can turn out differently in life.
Here is one example. I know of a very poor, broken family where one member became a drug addict, while the other is now a successful professional. Can you help me understand the logic of it all?
A: I have personally come across many such cases too. While it is true that the environment plays a great part, one thing that can be independent from its influence is the ‘human agency’ factor, which is present in some people. It can be something we are born with, or placed in us early in our lives. It is the person’s ability to decide and/or to accurately choose the things that will positively move them forward. This is why, as in your example, the professional is more successful than the other family member.
When the human agency factor is present, it gives us the ability to think, and reflect in our personal space. This connects us with ourselves as openly and honestly as possible. When we dare ‘sit down’ and be comfortable with ourselves, we get into a deep reflection mode that will heighten our self-sensitivity and awareness of what is going right and wrong for us and how our actions are causing us to move in a particular direction.
- How often do you give space to talk with yourself?
- What kinds of conversation take place?
- How much of this explains the current state of your life?
- What actions can you take based on the insights gained?
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