Maurice Gibbons (c) 2008 Personal Power Press International
Moving toward action
*The process you are using in this program goes like this....
(1) The first step of the process is gathering information and ideas, both about the world and about yourself.
(2) This prepares you to set goals, develop plans and take informed action.
(3) By reflecting on your work and yourself you will learn from successes and difficulties, you will identify new personal strengths, and you will find a key improvement that will raise the level of your performance.
(4) This process leads to productivity. As you continue the cycle of improvement, you progress toward excellence.
This is a process that can be used for any activity, and is designed to ensure steady progress.
Taking the Next step
» The next step is to transform your ideas into informed action. Choose a compelling product that will be a source of pleasure, pride, and other rewards.
» The transformation to action takes three steps:
1. Choose an interest
2. Visualize a significant achievement
3. Set a goal to act upon
» These steps are preparation for action. The action you are preparing to take is a project.
* Events are single acts that you can usually do in a day or less. A project is usually a sequence of events that lead to a single outcome and takes one to about five weeks. A theme is made up of several projects and a field is an enduring theme that becomes a life’s work.
In sculpture, buying or finding the wood is an event; doing a sculpture would be a good project; producing an exhibition or starting a business in sculpture is a theme. Establishing a regular pattern of work and exhibitions over time is commitment to a field.
» Which idea will you transform into action?
* (1) Ideas: In previous activities you have practiced ways to gather and use ideas and information to become more intelligent and creative. We have also focused on our personal interests. This is preparation for taking step (2), informed action.
* The next step is to choose the interest that you will convert into action. You will do this by examining the interests you discovered in Know Your Genius (Activity #4), and the new ideas that you have uncovered in the previous section.
* In your journal, note the central interest or interests that you discovered in Know Your Genius, or an interest that you uncovered during the gathering and creating activities that followed.
*Next add any interests that occur to you from other sources. You may, for instance, have general interests that you carry with you and want to act on now. You may, for example, be carrying an interest in starting a business, getting a promotion, or learning some new skill. If you are, include these in this list of interests you may act upon.
How will I decide?
*Having many ideas is personal wealth, but now you have to decide which of the great ideas you have listed from different sources is the one that you will act upon.
* Look your list over and choose up to five of the ideas that are most compelling to you, because they are either very interesting or very important to you at this time.
* Rate each of these five ideas on three scales of 1-10.
* First on the scale of your personal interest. How intense is it for each idea.
* Second rate them on how important they are to you, how urgent, how necessary.
* And finally, rate them on how ready you are for each of them, how practical or possible is it for you to work on them at this time.
...Here is an example
This is one method of decision-making that you can use any time that you have choices to make.
Maurice Gibbons (c) 2009 Personal Power Press International
Making Your Final Choice
* Using the results from applying the three scales to each of your five choices, choose the two highest rated of the five items. Write out the first choice in your journal, and under it make two columns marked “Pro” and “Con.”
* Under the first interest, outline all of the advantages, the pros, that you can think of. Then add all of the disadvantages, the “cons.” Next, do the same thing for your other choice. Here’s an example,
Interest: Take a leadership course in Seattle.
|Excellent course Great preparation for promotion Administration is a big step up
||Pricey course Long travel connection Away from family weekends
* With this evidence at hand, make your final choice of the interest that you will transform into action.
This is another method of decision-making that you can use any time that you have choices to make. And here is another:
If after all the table and journal work, you still can’t decide between the two best ideas, try this variant of the coin toss. Take a coin. Assign one choice to each side. Flip the coin, but at this point, tune in to how you feel about the option that chance chose for you. If you are disappointed, you will know in your heart that you wanted to choose the other one. Do the other one!
Write down your choice of interest in your journal. Here is mine.
This I have not been carving and the longer it gets the harder it is to go out to my shop. My interest is to get to work again.
Visualizing the best outcome you can imagine.
* You have chosen an interest to pursue. Now we turn to pursuing it well. Here we will make good use of our practice in visualization to help us set an excellent goal. Before you start, find your journal and place it close to you.
* Sit comfortably, relax, close your eyes, or take a soft focus, and breathe regularly. Concentrate on your breathing. Allow a few random thoughts to surface and disappear. After a while, visualize your home base, the peaceful and beautiful place that you enjoy.
* Next, think of your interest. Think of what you might do to pursue it. Think of what you would be doing if you did the very best thing you can imagine, a vision without limit; you pursuing your interest in the greatest possible way.
*Once you have vividly pictured the best outcome you can imagine, describe it in your journal. Next you will be taking a practical step toward your vision.
I see myself going out to the shop with my sketchbook and playing with some wood ideas without trying to make great, original pieces. I see some good things happening and then an idea comes that I can use to inspire many pieces and I become really interested.
Taking a step toward your vision
* You have chosen an interest to pursue, now we turn to pursuing it well. Here we will make good use of our practice in visualization to help us set an excellent goal.
* Your goal, which will define your project, will be a step toward your vision. If my vision is to become vice president of Mega Lumber Company, I would think about what I must be able to do and what I should do first. Then I would seek a high-priority goal that I can achieve.
* The person who sets out several ideas first has a better chance of success than the person who settles for the first idea that comes. Make a list of goals that would be steps to your vision.
* The basic thing about a goal statement is that it must be a clear description of what will be done or it is of little use. The following goal- statement, for example, is a start—naming the job--but it is not a precise description of what will be achieved:
“I’m going to learn a lot about being vice-president of Mega Lumber Company,”
How can it be improved? Examine this one:
“I’m going to find out the skills I need to be a successful vice- president, and then plan and implement a program to achieve them.”
If this were your goal, you would know what to do next, and you would know when you had achieved your goal. The main point for now is to be thoughtful about your goal. Be specific about what you intend to do. If you do this much, that will be a great start on goal-setting.
Some important facts about goals
* Whether we are talking about self-directed learning, productivity, or personal improvement, they all involve action, and action is best triggered by a clear, desirable goal. Goal-setting is a core skill.
* Good goals motivate us to act, guide the action we take, and tell us when our action is complete. Set good goals.
* A good goal is compelling. We want to reach it.
* A good goal is a challenge to new kinds or levels of thinking and acting.
* A good goal is difficult but achievable, and we are more likely to achieve it if we believe that others close to us will support our efforts and success.
Set a goal for your first project
In your journal, write the goal that you have set for your preliminary project. Be sure that it reflects an interest that is important to you. Here are a few examples.
Examples of Goals
1. I will get a library card, take out a book, and read it.
2. I will find out how to open a website and launch it for refurbishing old cars.
3. I will choose my song, book an audience and pick a date to play it for them.
4. I will search for the best Spanish courses, choose one, and sign up this week with a friend to take it.
5. I will select one of my clothing designs and make it into a finished product this month.
6. I will study plant selections and set up a box garden on the balcony of my apartment.
7. I will find a coach at work and learn to use Excel for accounting.
* Note that adding a time factor--when you will start and/or finish work on your goal--is often an important guide to include.
* Note also that this goal you are choosing is important. We will be working with it in the next activity, “Planning the Action You Will Take.”
Review to remember
Stop for a moment and think again about what is involved in pursuing each of these terms: Choosing an idea to transform into action, Decision-making, Visualizing, and Goal setting.
Reviewing what you’ve learned right away fixes the ideas in your memory. Without it, chances are that you won’t remember much. These activities will not be repeated, but they should be set permanently in your repertoire. They can be used and improved upon for the rest of your life. They are all contribute to successful self-direction.