In Self Effort, I reviewed the value of correct effort in accomplishing our goals. There is an old saying, well begun is half done. This is the key to productive action and rich results. Stepping forward from the correct foot, in the correct direction.
But just how do we do this? Step by step, with proper preperation.
1 – Desire:
All action starts with a desire, an intention to act. It is the motivator that will gives us energy to carry the action through. Without desire, there is no energy and thus no action. This is the start of all things. It is a very useful exercise to look within the desire and see what the driver is. Does this arise from a “should”? A push from outside? Or does this arise from within you, an honest desire? This is about you, what is within you. As Joseph Campbell might have asked, are you following your bliss? Starting an action from a false desire or one poorly driven will simply result in failure. Always begin well.
2 – Belief:
Do you believe you can? You will not get sub-conscious or emotional buy-in to a goal if you really think it’s unrealistic or that you can’t. In looking at your beliefs, you may find a deeper trigger behind your desire that reveals your heart is not in it. Or you may find you just need to tune things a bit, get some of your junk out of the way of your goal. I’m not talking blind faith here. Just an inner acceptance or knowingness that you can. Begin from I can.
3 – Why:
Why are you going after this? Making a list of benefits can help with buy-in. You can list benefits for yourself and others. If its a worthwhile goal, you should see a long list. If you only come up with a couple of things, ask yourself again what the motivator is here. Don’t waste your time on the small fish.
4 – Where:
Where are you now? What is your starting point? Actions move from a beginning. Knowing where you are starting from helps to know what needs to be done. Also how to evaluate accomplishment. Don’t judge yourself here, just be real. Your weight or other circumstance is just what it is 😉
5 – Obstacles:
What are the obstacles to be overcome? Sometimes aspects of ourselves can be a potential obstacle. Money often is. Circumstances. This is not about blame, its about getting a real picture of the beginning of the journey and the tools you will need.
6 – What and Who:
What do I need? Who do I need? What knowledge or information will be needed to accomplish my goals? Will I need to learn some things, do some research? Usually. What experts will I need the help of? Never try to do it all yourself. Use the wisdom of other peoples experience. It can help make it easier, avoid common mistakes, and give you a head start.
7 – The Plan:
Now you are ready to get detailed. To take all the What, Where, Why and Who and put it into a step by step plan. First all the details are broken into actions or ‘do’s’, then the actions are prioritized. This is laid out into a table so that you can simply walk through the process in easy steps. This, then this, then this. This is called the Critical Path, the key steps and all their supporting details that need to happen to make it happen. For a business, there is a Business Plan. For a project, a Gantt chart. For a process, a flow chart. Oh, and don’t waste all your time planning but not doing. The idea is to prepare, not stall. Equally, if you start without a plan, you are leaving the results to circumstance. The idea here is to make it happen, to achieve.
8 – When:
As you map out the Plan, the end point will become clear. You may need to set the time earlier to gauge the commitment involved. Or it may reveal itself in this process. Or you may need to set it and fit the plan to it. Many recommend this last approach but you don’t want the project to fail because your expectations were unrealistic. Make it strong, but make it realistic. Now you can plot the priorities into a timetable.
When is a key factor as the process of anything to become takes place in time. #4 set the start point. #8 sets the end point, framing the goal in time. Without this frame, the process of becoming is left sloppy. Being on a schedule helps keep the machine running, the project moving forward. If we get distracted, its easy to see.
9 – Begin:
You have a plan, you have a time frame. Time to Act. No waiting for step #10. Just do it.
10 – Make it real:
A useful practice is to visualize your goal, see it being accomplished step by step. Athletes rehearse every detail in their minds before a performance. Adam the Dreamhealer uses visualizations in healing. Same here, rehearse the process in your mind. See it being formed. But don’t visualize and not act. Action is what makes it happen. Few of us are siddhas who can manifest at will. 😉
Don’t forget to play it easy. You’re not perfect, so don’t even try that. The plan will need to be adjusted, guaranteed. The form of results can be unexpected. But if the desire and belief is there, the energy will be there to overcome the unforeseen obstacles that will arise. Soon the goal will be in sight. And you will have the satisfaction of doing your best and having fun on the journey.
Remeber – life is not about the result. It is the journey itself.