But yet a lot of my students consider themselves losers… so let’s see what the checklist shows, what haven’t you considered…
A successful life is built of projects.
Every project has five stages, five phases. any project. Work, fun, life, eating, sports, any project.
I have found this distinction very useful and calming. It stopped me from prematurely deciding if I was a winner or a loser…Like you, I had always thought that life worked on the basis of “I give you one, and I get one back from you”… and I had to find out that life doesn’t work that way. Now, I could complain, and I could despair, and I could be a quitter like most people, but I wasn’t… I, instead, gritted my teeth. I think this is why they call that stick-to-it-iveness grit… lol. Gritting your teeth and doing it, for no immediate reward.
I can even overdo it… lol… baaaah, not funny. But that is a story for another day.
So when I learned about the five phases of a project, back in 1987 or 1988, it was like someone turned on the light… and suddenly I could see clearly. Oh, this is how it works? OK… fffffffff….. grrr.
So here are the five phases or five stages of a project.
Most of you have never seen all five, and most of you will never see all five… but that doesn’t change the fact, that all projects have five stages.
What? Formulation? most say. This is something most people leave out: they jump into the middle of anything with two feet… and never succeed.
In formulation you look, first and foremost, what it is that you want to accomplish. You go into as much detail as you can… most of you will get stuck right there. How do I know? 90% of the people that come to me answer to my question “What would you like to accomplish?” with silence and stammering. They don’t know, they didn’t think about it. And then, maybe, they say something really ingenious, like “I want to be happy!” or “I am tired of feeling bad about myself!”
To what end?
Almost any project has to have a “to what end?” aspect. For example, the person who is tired of feeling bad about herself, could add: so that I can make a difference in the world, write best selling books, become a fun person who does business and be healthy and happy, blah blah blah.
One of the best little exercises that i have ever done to get to the “to what end?” is to start with what you can think of, like “I want to lose some weight”… it is a good start, and you can take it to a spectacular “to what end?”
Then look. Let’s say, your answer to that question is: “I am building a more appealing look for myself”
And then keep on asking that question: “What are you building with that?”
If it were me, I would say: so my local friends are more willing to think of me as an authority… And you see, there is a pain point there… my local friends do NOT think of me as an authority… they think of me the way they think of themselves, loser, old, decrepit, fat, slovenly, stupid… whatever they think of me… Definitely not an authority. lol… not funny at all.
So what am I building with that, you ask? Great question! I am building something important to me: being able to watch people’s faces as i am sharing my imminent wisdom, maybe save a few lives, maybe have more friends, maybe make a difference?
All really nice, and currently totally impossible. To my local “friends” I am nobody.
OK, so what am I building with that? Hm, I am building a seamless life… No difference between online and offline… private and public. Between work and leisure. Authority, respected 360 degrees.
And what am I building with that, you ask?
I think that I would be a lot happier, and I would have a lot more people to play with, experiment with, fulfill on my destiny: find a way to take some humans all the way to the “Promised Land”…
And what am I building with that? I am building the possibility of a life worth living and a way for people to live it powerfully, however old they happen to be. Fulfill thus on my destiny and my promise to Source…
Sorry, the very last is a little pompous… by design, don’t be squeamish, you can laugh it off… lol.
Did you notice that I am at stage 1 still? Hell yeah.
A sloppily done or missed stage 1 will always result in a botched attempt at a project.
They say “plan your work and work your plan” and it works for most people.
I don’t plan my work… I wing it. But I know where I am going, and I stop frequently to re-orient myself.
This is one of the reasons I hated to be an architect, by the way. I don’t like to plan… I can, but I hate it.
But usually planning, at least the rudimentary steps, is part of phase one. You need to be flexible, and be willing to change the plan when reality doesn’t seem to say “hell yeah” to your plan.
I have a student whose life is a series of botched up projects. He skimped on phase 1… and found out the hard way that no project, like no house, can stand without a solid foundation.
I won’t go into this much detail about the other four, so here they are
Phase 2: Concentration
Phase 3: Momentum
Phase 4: Stability
Some people talk about a fifth phase: Breakthrough… It is a land I haven’t been in… so I don’t have a lot to say about it.
One of the aspects that these phases have is how many units of effort you need to put in to get the results you get.
- In formulation you do work that produces zero results, other than words on paper…
- In concentration you need to put in 100 units of effort to maybe get back 1 unit of result… lots of work, hardly any results as far as, for example, money goes.
- There should be a stage where you put in one and get back one… I haven’t taught this for a while… so I might be confused on my stages… lol.
- In momentum you suddenly can put in one unit of effort and get back 10-20, maybe even 100 results.
- In stability this can almost be taken for granted.
- In breakthrough, I would think, you can just clean up… lol. I have never been there.
This topic came up because I have some ambitious students, not many, and they have been asking about it… so there you go… the phases of a project.
Depending on your personality, depending on your Bach Profile, depending on the self-knowledge, you’ll be stuck in different stages… hopefully not in the very first one…
Knowledge is power, and when you know where you’d be stuck, ahead of time, you can do the work on yourself, I repeat, on YOURSELF, to pull the plug on the cause… so you can finally do a winning project… something you can be proud of.
Left to your own devices, I don’t know… I have never known a successful person who didn’t have a mentor or a coach… that catch you when you are doing something stupid, or wake you up when you fell asleep at the wheel.
If you want to work with me, you need to jump through hoops.
The first hoop is getting your starting point measurements done.
And if you feel like a loser… why don’t you watch these two videos… and change your mind about it.
Get your Starting Point Measurements