It is projects that give substance to life, give you a reason to get up in the morning, other than that you didn’t die the night before, or that you have to go to the bathroom.
If you are bored, if you are listless, if you are stuck, if life has lost its taste, it’s because you don’t have a viable and worthy project.
This is most of you, because this is most of humanity.
A project is something with a specific, measurable, public result in the end. It is also nested in the larger project that is your life, but also larger projects that have the same direction, but are longer term with loftier end result.
Let’s say your goal in life is to die a millionaire. A million bucks net worth. Your net worth now is minus 37 grand, and you carry a lot of debt.
You have no real skills, you have no real education, and you have no time: your full time gig is using up most of your time.
You are browsing the insternet to ways to reach that darn million bucks earnings.
You see all kinds of programs. One says: become a millionaire and never take off your pajamas… Day trading… it is easy, you just buy and sell what they guy tells you, and by the end of the summer you’ll be well on your way, by the end of the year you can quit your j.o.b.
Obviously he is starting with nothing. No expertise, and no money of his own to play with.
His best bet is to run this project through the questionnaire and see if he should pursue it right away, or if he should create smaller projects that can lead up to this big one… so he can expect to win.
I just found a great little tool that you can use in your formulation phase to decide if the direction and the project you are choosing is going to be a good direction that you can and will sustain.
OK, here is the questionnaire:
With each category, rate yourself on a scale of 1-10. When done with all the categories, add up your scores on the individual questions.
Does this align with the future I envision?
Is this project or activity relevant to my future identity, to how I see myself and what I see myself doing over the long-term in the future? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Does this have intrinsic value for me?
Is this project or activity something I am passionate about? Something would enjoy doing, feel proud about? Does it contribute meaningfully? Would I do this regardless of money, status, recognition or power (extrinsic rewards)? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Is the outcome going to be useful for me?
Is this project or activity something that will lead to a useful outcome for me? Will I get something useful in life out of doing this? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Does this cost me too much?
In pursuing this project or activity, can I avoid losing out on other things that I find important? Can I do this without costing too much time, too much energy, effort, resources, and willpower that I would like to use elsewhere in life? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Do I have to wait too long to see results?
Is this project or activity going to have quick and recognizable results that I can enjoy soon? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Do I have Personal Control?
Is this project or activity something that I will be able to make happen by my own efforts? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Do I have Social Support?
Is this project or activity something people will support me on? Will others provide direction and cheerleading when I attempt this? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Do I have the Bandwidth/RAM needed?
Is this project or activity something I will have enough time and focus to do a good job at? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Do I have the necessary Resources?
Will I have the resources I’ll need to successfully accomplish this goal? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Will I have Autonomy?
Will I be given the trust and decision-making authority I need to feel as though I’m in control and able to make things happen? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Results: If adding up all of your scores you didn’t end up with a score of at least 75, then it’s likely you will not feel competent or excited enough about pursuing this new project or activity. So, what if your score isn’t at least 75? Should you give up and not proceed? Not necessarily. Spend some time looking at each area that didn’t get at least a score of 8, and ask yourself, “What could I do in this area in advance of starting this new activity so that my score would be higher?” In other words, do the necessary work of thinking about how to increase your ratings. That, or just reconsider whether or not this new project or activity is really your thing, something worthwhile to pursue at all.
If you are stuck or feel stuck
If you are in a hole, if you feel like you are enclosed in a well… then your first job is to get out of the well.
Getting out of the hole will put you in the position where you have a line-of-sight of the future.
For most of you, getting unstuck people, most numbers will not be high enough. You may want to consider my Reclaim program to get out of your stuck place.