We’ll “complete” our week about completion today. Our work has examined various strategies to facilitate finishing projects. Completion can be had in three ways:
1. Actually getting the project done in its original form;
2. Making a conscious decision to change the scope of the project and then getting it done;
3. Deciding that you will not complete the project.
The first two are obvious, so let’s examine the third alternative. Deciding against completing a project is not losing. There is nothing about which to be ashamed.
You’re making a set of mental calculations about your priorities which results in your opting not to continue – and then making a clean break.
Many people experience great freedom during the coaching process because they are able to release projects that have been with them mentally for a long time – but which have actually ceased to have viability a while ago.
Here’s an example: a client thought that he wanted to grow and sell his business so that he could retire. After our working together, he realized that he loved his business – and especially the people in it – so he released his desire to sell, and he embraced the notion of working in his business as part of what he loves about his life. He was able to thoroughly enjoy his business again without feeling that he was failing.
The important part about this process is the three choices:
1. Complete as is, or;
2. Modify and complete, or;
3. Analyze and release.
What examples of expanded freedom can you remember about your own and / or someone else’s experience where the third option was chosen successfully?
Continuing our discussion of completion this week, let’s examine the benefits of a specific kind of positive outlook called “planned optimism.” Planned optimism is “optimism on steriods,” meaning that it only allows a positive outcome in your mind when considering completing a project.
A primary enemy of optimism has been doubt, so having a plan to be optimistic no matter what can be very wise. Doubt has been erosive on our confidence; and doubt has had a way of insidiously growing if left unaddressed. The originator of the term “planned optimism” also describes a mindset called “planned hopelessness,” which one might consider “doubt on steroids.”
A primary benefit of planned optimism is that it is a disciplined approach to allowing only that which moves a project forward. Planned optimism teaches that if something “goes wrong,” you seek to find ways to use it to your advantage.
For example, suppose you lose a customer in your plan to expand your business. A person practicing planned optimism would ask, “How does this give me a new advantage or a new outlook that benefits the completion of my project?”
Planned optimism can be an effective antidote to doubt — which can help you complete projects.
By the way, how are you doing on completing Friday’s project?
While we’re on the subject of completion this week, what do we say and how do we behave to that voice that has told us in the past that we can’t complete a project?
Is that voice correct? Should we not pursue and complete a dream? What if it fails? Have we feared completion before – or, more accurately, the lack of completion? What role does solid belief play in completing something large?
Particularly in the area of our life’s goals and dreams, it’s critical to have trusted friends and family who can “reality check” our big dreams. Much more to be written on this later – for this morning, suffice it to say that those big dreams can be wisely pursued while someone with credibility believes in you – sometimes more than you do yourself – AND assuming that you’ve talked it through with them and they have helped you understand the risks and rewards. And the key point: that they see a favorable risk-reward analysis for that big dream- and they keep monitoring the situation with you as you proceed.
How are you doing today relative to the short-term completion goal that everyone has established for this Friday? What kind of support, imagination, brainstorming and “just-do-it-ness” is required?
This week, we are exploring completion of projects. Clients are choosing one short-term, one medium-term and one long-term coaching project to complete.
Short term is defined as by this Friday, medium-term by Thanksgiving, and long-term by year’s end.
We’re discussing a variety of strategies that can be useful for completion. One of the most effective is called “kaizen,” a Japanese word roughly translated into “Some daily progress, however small.” Consider the logic: putting positive attention on something daily will inevitably cause it to progress.
Now, imagine what would happen if we chose to be attentive for 15 minutes a day or an hour – some small, manageable number that we can fit into most days. The actual results experienced by clients are astounding. The most common surprise?
What needs to be done usually takes a far shorter time than originally thought.
Consider giving the strategy a try with a small amount of time applied daily. Let us know how you’re doing.
For those of you who have not replied with your goals, please do so today if possible.
Our topic this week is completion. Nothing to fear – just a great topic to explore.
Most of us have projects that we’d like to complete – some of long standing.
Speaking in the past tense, what has been in the way of completion for you?
Perhaps it’s been a goal that has seemed too big?
Let’s make completion a fun topic. Imagine the end of the day on Friday: what could you complete by then that would bring you joy?
Be realistic and not overly ambitious – we’re simply exercising a muscle so that we can grow it. What would genuinely bring you satisfaction and fulfillment? It could be an hour of work on a big project. It could be a small project. Call a different friend every day. Organize your desk. Take a look at your inventory if you desire for ideas!