I like to talk about the concept of why when we’re creating a plan to help you achieve a big outcome. A big outcome is something that has a really big payoff and usually requires lots of time and effort.
I wish I had a better name for the process and would welcome all suggestions. For the time being, let’s just call it what, why, what, who, how.
That’s a really dumb name, why would I want to use it.
I agree, it is a really dumb name. At the same time it describes what I want you to do.
Start with what you want to do. I call this the postulate. It’s where you start your journey on creating a great outcome. It’s where you write down you first idea of what it is you want to do.
Next I want you to ask why questions about your idea at least five times. I want you to know how your world will be different and better if you do this project. I want you to ask why until you get a core answer. This means you’re going to have to drill down at least five levels before you get to the core.
Now, I want you to go back and revisit what it is you want to do. If you’re like the clients I work with there’s a really good chance that you’re going to want to change what the actual project is. You might have found a more elegant way of achieving your outcome.
Next it’s time to work on who’s going to help you and then put together a plan for how you’re actually going to achieve your outcome. This is usually seen as the hard part. But, with this process it becomes the really easy part because you’ve spent a lot of time on developing what you want to do and what the core reason is you want to do it.
OK I get the process, how does it work.
Instead of thinking up an outcome and just starting you’re taking time to think deeply about what it is you want. You’re going to find how your outcome fits in with your personal and or corporate mission. You’re going to figure out whether you’re working on the right thing or not.
Once you get used to using this process you’ll be able to evaluate a big idea in less than thirty minutes. Isn’t spending this amount of time worth the opportunity of saving days and days of wasted time and effort?
The key in this process is understanding that why is the most important step?
It’s really very simple. Why is always the key to any action you take. Whether you’ve identified why something is important or not it’s always there and it’s always waiting to stop you when you figure out you’re not doing the right thing. We almost always start doing the wrong thing and have to change direction at least one or two times.
Too many of us just start projects or ideas and we really don’t know how the project we’re doing will fit in with a bigger goal. I want you to think about what your life is all about and then make sure your project fits with your life purpose.
What happens if my original idea isn’t what I really want?
This happens all of the time. I see major projects scrapped because they don’t fit in with a bigger picture goal. What this process does is allow you to take your idea out for a spin. I’m hoping that you usually change what it is you want to do after getting to your core reason for doing it in the first place.
The reason for this is very simple. You’re going to find that your original idea is not the best thing to pursue after you figure out how why fits in with your larger goals and outcomes. You’re going to find a more elegant or logical solution for helping you achieve the why’s in your life.
This is a case of where going slow actually speeds up your process.
You might be thinking that all this does is slow you down. You might be thinking that it’s just an unnecessary step in helping you achieve your dreams.
Think about this. Once you’re started a project, become invested in the outcome and know you’re on the right path, how easily will you change directions if you need to…..and you will almost always have to change at least once.
If instead, when you spend a little time thinking about what and why, knowing who you need for help and what steps you need to take are easy. And, the bonus is you’ll probably change direction one or two times less. You might even find it easier to make a change when that becomes necessary.
It’s really pretty simple……when you change directions when you’re just planning you’ve already programmed your mind to go in another direction if and when you need to.
Do yourself a favor. Plan before you act……your mental health will thank you.