The Award Ceremony: How Goal-Oriented Life Planning Can Change Your Thinking

What do I plan to do with my life? At this point in time that is probably the most common question that pops in to my head. Some may say it is because I am a college student. However, I think that is a normal question for all parts of life, as the answer changes as we grow and experience new things.

To answer this question, we will usually create a checklist of the possible outcomes. Things like safety, financials, a family, and recognition are all taken into account. This can be quite overwhelming, as oftentimes, especially for people like me, it may seem impossible to choose what kind of business I would like to start, what kind of job I would like to have or what kinds of things I want to accomplish, when there are so many choices.

Recently, I received advice from Linwood Bailey, success coach and author of “The Business of Me.” He recommended that I picture myself winning a prestigious award, one that I would be remembered for. It could be anything such as the Nobel Peace Prize or Fortune 500 Businessperson of the Year, and I had exactly one week to decide. This simple advice shifted my way of thinking from what I should do and when I should do it, to simply who I wanted to be. This made my decision much less overwhelming. After I had decided, he told me I now had a week to decide why I had been chosen for the award. Meaning, how I got to that point or what I had accomplished. Now that I had defined the “who” it was much easier to fill in the “what” and the “when.”

This style of goal-oriented planning seems to come natural when strategizing for almost everything else in life. Businesses, sports, and even board games all have a clear objective. When planning our own lives, it is easy to get caught in the many responsibilities and needs of our current situation and to forget all about our destination. This simple technique teaches us to think of the big picture and create a plan working toward a specific goal, even if that goal may one day change.

Dave Boni
Marketing and Communications Assistant
Macomb-OU INCubator

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