Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the tag “Vision and Goal Setting”

Are you having visions?

Well, if you’re not, you should be.

The power of the human imagination is still relatively little researched. Productivity literature, parents and teachers ask us to focus on the task in hand and our project plans. Yet we know through our human history that it has been the big thinkers that have enabled our faster progress as a human race: not those who just focus on the here & now and accept the norm.

As animals, we are goal oriented (food, sex….) and from what we know about our evolution, we can speculate that a sophistication in our goal setting was introduced as we developed consciousness. We could defer satisfaction. Invest time and energy, working together for a longer-term and ultimately more rewarding goal. I suspect this skill is also subject to further evolution. We can be bound by what we know, as framed by our human history and what we tell each other. Limited by the current ‘realities’ of our knowledge. Or we can recognise this will just bring us a tomorrow that looked like yesterday.

Instead, we need to recognise our own power of imagination. We use the same parts of our brain in imagining as we do in remembering. Your ‘brain’ doesn’t really know that your big vision hasn’t already happened; therefore you are the only blocker to your dreams. Your limiting self-beliefs, your why-nots. So let’s take advantage of our sophistication. Let’s blow the doors off everything that limits us. Let’s all start to have visions that we’re proud of: our reality is what we make it.

Fortunately a giant robot dinosaur called FAKEGRIMLOCK comes to the rescue of our human limitations on a post on Eric Ries’ Lean Startup blog. My favourite part:




What Could You Do in The Future With Your Imagination Now?

Daniel Schacter Functional MRI Scans

Daniel Schacter Functional MRI Scans

The scans to the left look virtually identical.

The furthest left brain actually shows the bits of the brain that fire when, given a cue word, the subject remembers something that has happened: a memory.

The closest brain shows the bits of the brain that fire when the subject, given the same cue word, was asked to imagine a future scenario.

So the fact that the brain, for purposes of evolutionary efficiency – or through evolutionary limitations (depending on your view) – uses the same tools to remember the past and imagine the future, throws a fantastic light on the power of vision and goal setting.

On the basis that you believe your memories because your left brain gives you permission to do so, the only thing limiting a more ‘creative’ use of vision and goal setting is your logical/ analytical side. Looking at the argument from another perspective, do you believe that you are what/ who you are through a sum total of your nature and your nurture? Do you accept that a component part of what affects your nurture is a sum total of your experiences? Do you then accept that how you act in the present is influenced by the sum of what you believe to be you: your values, beliefs, experiences etc.?

If you’re still with me, then allow yourself to imagine the impact of acting in the present not just based on your past, but based on a future that you desire and have spent time imagining in detail.

What resources would this bring to bear? What focus would this give you? What opportunities would you take?

Strange Bedfellows: The Relationship between Mood and Time Management

Cumulus 4 by Marcin Rybarczyk

Cumulus 4 by Marcin Rybarczyk

Again, it must be where my mind is at the moment. The challenges of time management and personal effectiveness all seem to be appearing in the shadows and the greyness conscious, rational, systematic approaches to the problem.

I think I need to start to believe the statement made in  Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s excellent Fooled by Randomness

‘We will see that we are not genetically fit to be rational and act rationally’ – there is a divorce between those who have ideas and those who carry then out in practice

(Here is the link to the string of posts on the impact that Fooled by Randomness has had on me)

I make this observation as I monitor myself into a next phase of effectiveness. I am getting a lot more focused on My3Things for each of my areas of accountability/ personal vision and goals (I have extended out my own use of the term My3Things from its use within Madgex for 360 degree feedback – just a useful way of managing a ‘dashboard’ of top 3 priority actions over seven areas of accountability/ vision & goals)

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