checkpoint1.jpg“Do you have any plans?”
“Oh, yeah! Tons of them! Big! Epic! Life changing! Plans!”
“Any that have the slightest chance of actually happening?”
“Not really.”

How is your life plan going? Did you write it out? Set up goals? For all the major roles/areas of your life?

– Family/Friends
– Health/Physical
– Spiritual/Creative
– Social/Community
– Education/Mental/Personal Growth
– Career/Financial

Have you made plans for each goal? Implemented any of them? If all is going according to plan, no need to read further!

Plan: A proposed or intended course of action designed to achieve or bring about a desired event, outcome or goal.

The key words in this definition of plan are “proposed” and “intended.” A plan is just that: a plan. A plan requires action to come to life: purpose, will, motivation, energy, discipline, desire. Victor Hugo once said, “People do not lack strength, they lack will.”

While I certainly subscribe to the “Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men’s blood”* school of thought, I’m also acutely aware of how we can overwhelm ourselves in the short run by scattering our efforts. There is a lot to be said for baby steps, for creating small victories that we can build on, micro-wins that will propel us forward. It has been said that if you put enough gears on it (each gear a baby step) you can get a washing machine engine to pull a freight train. I always found that a powerful visualization of the dynamic potential of persistence.

So if you are having challenges moving forward, chunk it down. Break down your life plan into smaller steps, or perhaps implement fewer plans simultaneously. Or choose one area each week to work on, or a goal each month to achieve.

Journal frequently, return to your plan often. Review it, notice which parts move you the most. Visualize major portions of your plan as already accomplished. Feel the glow, the sense of accomplishment, of satisfaction. You have what it takes, you are capable of greatness, you have a gift that is yours alone, a talent that is unique to you, a purpose, a meaning that only you can fulfill. There is a destiny that shapes our ends, “rough hew it though we will.”**

Persist. Continue. Try again, differently, smarter, longer and better, or shorter and more intense, or perhaps more mellow, going for the flow, the sweet spot. Whatever. Just try again.

I believe in you. You can do it. You can make a dream come true. Perhaps not all of them but certainly some, and that is definitely better than none!

We make of our lives what we will. Go ahead, make me proud. Better yet, make yourself proud. Inspire yourself, inspire others. Earn it, live it, share it.

* Daniel Burnham, architect of Chicago’s 1893 World Exposition.

** ”There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.” (Hamlet, Act V, scene ii, Hamlet speaking)