How will you do what you will do?
That sentence needs context, but if you have been tracking with this blog over the past several weeks, then the question above should make sense.
Last week, the question was about knowing what you WILL do. The answer to that question can only be answered when you know what your ultimate goal is and what you need to do to accomplish it. Once that information has been considered, then you must consider what you will do in order to complete the goal.
But once you know what you will do, then the question is “How will I get that done?”
In other words, what is your STRATEGY? What is your plan of attack? What is your game plan?
The STRATEGY is the next piece of a personal (or organizational) SYSTEM. We began with the VISION, which is the ultimate goal. The VISION is what you want to achieve as an end result. As I explained earlier, it is what you plan to see if you are successful. Thus, VISION is an appropriate term.
Then the MISSION is the goals you put in place to help you achieve that VISION. So, now we need something to help us know how to fulfill our MISSION. That something is a STRATEGY.
We might say that the STRATEGY (the HOW) which helps us to fulfill the MISSION (the WHAT) in order to achieve our VISION (the WHY). So, we have started with WHY, but now we have moved past WHAT we will do to the point of considering HOW it will be done.
Many people think of a grand master plan when they hear the word STRATEGY. But a strategy can be something very simple. You have developed strategies for many aspects of life that you don’t really think about anymore.
For instance, HOW do you brush your teeth?
When getting a cold drink, do you get the glass first or go to the refrigerator?
When you realize your might be late because of traffic, do you change your route?
Of course, some of the things we do day to day don’t really matter HOW we do them (like whether we get a glass before or after getting the beverage). But the point is that we develop a STRATEGY in a lot of areas in our life, often in the moment.
But adopting a STRATEGY for a life objective on a moment’s notice is not wise. Yes, we need to be willing to adapt (cf. Proverbs 16.9), but adapting (like the traffic example above) is much different than not having any kind of STRATEGY.
Personally, my STRATEGY is based upon the acrostic L-E-A-R-N. But simply having a clever way to remember a STRATEGY is not what is important (although it is helpful). The STRATEGY must contain elements to help fulfill the MISSION.
For me, the letters stand for Love, Exercise, Action, Read, and Nurture. I will break each of these pieces down in next week’s post and then begin to show how they fit with my MISSION as well.
I want to encourage you as you consider your SYSTEM. Don’t compare yours to mine. You may already have one. You may need to develop yours, but developing tricks to help you memorize it is not where you need to start. For now, simply get the ideas down on paper. If necessary, you can tweak the statements later to find a pneumonic device, develop an acrostic, etc.
So, hopefully by now, you have taken time to determine your WHY (your VISION). If not, go back and look at the posts from the beginning of this series. Start with the posts from June 26 or July 3, if not earlier. (The post on July 10 shows that VISION and MISSION are not new concepts. They are biblical even if the terms themselves are newer.)
Then, consider what you will do to make your WHY a reality (see the posts from July 17, 24, and 31 to help you with your WHAT).
If you have not yet taken those steps, you are not ready to focus on the ideas in this post. So, again, let me encourage you to start at the beginning. The posts will still be here once you have taken the time to complete the earlier pieces. We still have several more posts for this series, including one last major component to our SYSTEM – that is, our STEPS, which represent our process. But before we get to those STEPS, we need to first conceive of the other higher-level ideas.
If you have already developed a draft of a VISON and a MISSION statement (or once you do), begin the process of considering HOW you will accomplish each part of your MISSION (your WHAT). You may need to tweak these ideas over time, but once this piece of your SYSTEM is complete, you have most of the ideas in place. Then it will be time to simply implement your SYSTEM.
Don’t give up now. You are getting close. I will post again next week to help you to connect the dots between my STRATEGY and MISSION with the goal of helping you to do the same.