Over the years I have had many good ideas and plans which I have not acted on. I have also had some not very good ideas which I have acted on. Thus the conondrum - to know just which plans or ideas to attempt.
To figure it out I now ask myself which plan is grounded and improves by constructive critical thinking and which plan crumbles when tested. When I was younger (not too much younger), I failed to put this test into action.
Although fear was not my enemy in the plans that didn't work out so well, it has played a huge part in not going forward with practical, professional and academic dreams. Fear of failing a test, fear of not being a member of the staus quo (whatever that means in different circumstances), fear of being ridiculed, fear of starting something and then not completing it.... so not starting it.
One of the training resources I enjoy facilitating wth people who are stuck, for whatever reason, is called PATH - Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope. Originally designed to assist people with disabilities the process works for anyone, teams, families and organizations.
Hope is the big destroyer of fear. Whilst fear diminishes, hope encourages and nurtures growth.
I had my own PATH facilitated in the UK a number of years ago, that's part of the training. It was really helpful to see that the future I wanted to create could be achieved. The dreams became practical when matched with supports and resources and stood the constructive critical thinking test I now apply.
An exercise I also use to help me with planning is to create a collage - taking goals and ideas that I have set I engage in the creative process. Allowing the "unthought known" (Picasso) to emerge.
Oftentimes what I think is the best and most efficient way to start something turns itself around. The collage offers me insights and, rather like the editing process, what was first there becomes better. The intention becomes more possible and real. Sometimes the collage makes what is unrealistic very obvious by not making space for it to be included. Othertimes it may be a small part of the collage, placed somewhere that indicates that it is not for now but may become so later.
For step 28 - you will need originals or copies of the art and lists and writings you have created up to now. Scissors, a piece of poster board - size is up to you. The collage can be large or medium but not too small. Glue stick. Allow about an hour to do this. Before you start record your level of happiness on your graph. If you would like a template email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Without giving yourself too much time for thinking, start to cut and place pieces from your work onto the poster board. Start to glue. Trust that where you first place something is the right place. Allow items to touch and overlap - somethings may get covered up. Let your eyes and your energy guide you, not your thoughts. If it helps put on some mood music - make it something that will assist you engage in the collage, not something that distracts you away from the process.
You can add pictures, scraps of paper, buttons, ribbons and tissue to your collage as you go - if something comes to mind add it, don't force it onto the paper. Leave out what does not feel like a "fit" today.
When you have completed your collage take a break. When you are ready come back and look at it. Consider your first thought and write them down. What are the obvious goals that you have included - where are they in level of importance? Have things changed or moved about? Now consider how you feel, write down those feelings. If you are using a happiness graph record your happpiness level as you complete the project. Note if it has moved up or down since you began. If you have a place to display your collage put it up. If not keep it somewhere you can see it often.
Was this project a challenge - does it feel like a success? Record successes and challenges.
Mine for today are...
Getting all my professional work completed
Making time to write rather than turning on the TV (tempted though I was)
Setting boundaries at home
Eating a Tim Hortons Doughnut - so not necessary and sooo delicious:-(
Worrying about earning and saving enough for our UK trip this summer