First step is to nurture an idea which just remains wishful thinking for ages and ages (about 2 years in this case). Then I start mentioning it as a possibility to friends. Saying it outloud to people somehow makes it feel a bit more real. Then I start prefacing any mention of the idea with half-hearted attempts at commitment - e.g. 'I really must ..' or 'I am determined to ...'. Eventually there's a kind of internal commitment to the project with a vague timetable, e.g. 'I'm going to run a personal development course in the autumn'. This is followed by a hiatus borne out of an illusion of momentum, because I've decided to go ahead with the project. It's as if I believe that, by making the decision I've started the ball rolling and everything will magically come to pass, without me having to do anything. It's like the relief that comes after creating a neat 'to do' list, before you've tried to do anything on it.
Even then, I need to engineer some unavoidable imperative to get me into full action mode. In this case it was booking the venue for a certain set of dates. Finally, a deadline, which is the only thing that gets me moving. After that, it's extraordinary just how much I can get done. After two years of thinking about it, in the space of two weeks, I've designed a 6 week personal development course, arranged the venue, designed and produced a leaflet and poster, started advertising the event, and even created a website. Phew.
12 years ago, when I was studying for my counselling diploma, I came across a wonderful illustration of the planning vs 'emergent' approach to things. It was based on the Myers-Briggs personality types, and in particular the Judging/Perceiving dimension: the 'judging' types, being those who prefer life to be planned, stable and organised; the 'perceiving' types being those who tend to go with the flow, prefer flexibility and are happy to respond to things as they arise. I've long since lost the reference, but the illustration of the differences between the judging and perceiving approaches to a task was so apt and so vivid, it's stayed with me.
|Judging vs Perceiving approach to tasks|
On this occasion, my squiggle has produced this:
More information here (result of another squiggle!)