This exercise can help with major life decisions.
The theme for my student success classes comes wrapped in two questions: (1) What is your dream? (2) What are doing to get to your dream?
These two questions are even more succinctly stated on my business card: Dreams—Action—Reality. Anyone can have a dream but without action you really have a fantasy. If you don’t act on your dream (or toward your dream) you will create a whole other reality.
The last unit of our semester (and my book Choices for College Success, 3rd ed.) focuses on college majors and careers. I have written elsewhere on this blog of the intertwining and reinforcing activities my students do in order to drill down on their passion—their calling. For many of us this is a life-long pursuit.
Today, I will concentrate on one of the activities that can have powerful results beyond choosing a major in college. This exercise can help with other major life decisions as well.
- Outcome. This initial step helps you focus on the end result….the accomplishment/achievement…the change… In short, this is the WHAT of your process. As clearly as possible, what do you want the desired outcome to look like? How will you look? Walk? Talk? Dress? Interact? Feel? Create?
- Intent. Once you have the final outcome (as best as you can determine) in your mind’s eye, ask a simple question: WHY do I want to reach this destination? Why do I want to travel this journey? Is it strictly for money? To make a difference? To be close to someone or some purpose? To be able to travel/move? To have stability in my life? To have a bit of chaos in my life? Once you believe you understand the why, look back at the outcome you identified. Ask yourself if the outcome is the only way you can scratch the intent’s itch? Perhaps there are other outcomes—other options—that will allow you to just as passionately realize your why! As people far wiser than me have said: Be open to the infinite possibilities that surround you. (This would be a great time to stop, reflect and do the Five Whys Exercise.)
- Implementation. You know WHAT (outcome) and WHY (intent). The next crucial step is the HOW step. How will you move toward your outcome? What actions will you take to satisfy your intention? This is where the work comes in—the legwork. The first two steps require vision and planning. This step is all about execution.
Remember there may be false steps and obstacles (actually, there WILL be detours). Consider these signposts. Be ready to make adjustments as needed.
A friend recently turned me on to a new (for me) metaphor: Many times those “problems” are really gifts wrapped in barbed wire. Once you navigate the difficulties you will reach the prize. Aren’t our dreams worth it?
Video recommendation for the week:
View a powerful video by www.values.com by clicking or pasting the following link: http://www.values.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/124-Finish-Line.
Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.
Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.
(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.