I’ve already spoken on how to choose goals and the SMART system but what about making a plan? What are we without a plan but a leaf blowing in any direction the wind wants to take us. As Superior Men we don’t let life happen to us, we grab the bull by its horns and lead it where we want.
So how do you make a plan for your life? Conventional wisdom would have it that you list where you are currently, where you want to go and make a plan to get there. That’s fine and will definitely keep you busy, however it’s not very concrete. Think back to when you were in grade school. What did you want to be? Spiderman? An astronaut? The POTUS? I remember thinking if “something” would happen to me then I could get what I wanted. The problem is that “something” never comes. You have to make it for yourself.
The other issue is that when you have a goal without a plan it’s like hitting a moving target while wearing a blindfold. The goal keeps moving because life happens. Compromises happen. Don’t get me wrong, lofty goals are great, however
Say your goal is to be the CEO of your company. Would you hire someone with your current qualifications to be the CEO? Why or why not? What if your goal is smaller? Maybe that hot new secretary in the office next door? Take a realistic view of yourself. Confidence is great but if you are 100 pounds overweight and have severe anxiety talking to people then maybe we need to work on other items before we talk about pick-up lines.
The point is there is a process and you have to start at the beginning. A prime example of this is the millennial generation entering the workforce. Forbes has a great article on the subject. Here are some of the highlights:
1. Overconfidence and Unrealistic Expectations
“Even though it plays into a stereotype about millennials, statistics support that this generation is overconfident. Narcissism and obsession with fame are rampant at multiple age levels. As a result, many millennials find themselves with extraordinarily high expectations about what kind of jobs they can get. They want to start out with more responsibility and higher pay, even if they don’t have much experience. If they can’t find the “dream job” they’re looking for, they drop off or stop looking entirely. Those high expectations are crushing their potential.”
Um, exactly. This hits the nail on the head. “But Mr. Hiring Manager, I have an MBA, I DESERVE to start making 6 figures a year.”
2. Inward Focus
“Possibly attributable to the selfishness associated with the generation, when applying for jobs millennials tend to focus on themselves. They talk about their past, their education, and what they’re hoping to get out of the job. However, in most applications, it’s better to focus on the employer—telling your employer what you’re going to do to benefit them. Companies see new hires as investments so it’s your job to convince them how you’ll make that investment worth it.”
3. Misplaced Education
“According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities, many employers believe recent college graduates are underdeveloped in key workplace skills like interpersonal communication, critical thinking and organization. These are skills that aren’t taught in higher education—there’s no “general workplace skills” class in most universities so instead college students focus on theoretical studies in their respective disciplines. This makes it harder for millennials who believe themselves to be highly qualified to land even the most basic jobs.”
American colleges not preparing our youth with critical thinking and interpersonal communication skills? Quick, show me where the safe space is.
So how do I make a plan? What’s important?
In a nutshell, you are.
No plan for your life can be complete without some serious introspection and taking stock of your strengths and weaknesses. One of the most comprehensive guides I’ve come across is a book called Mindful Attraction Plan by Athol Kay.
There are endless articles on this book as it has helped many men put themselves on the right track. Athol urges readers to make a plan and direction on where to focus your energy at the correct time.