Yesterday we began the journey to create a new future for ourselves. We started by getting mad as hell in order to get fired up. Then, we worked on forgiving ourselves. The next step was to stop trying to control everything and start taking positive direction. The last step we discussed was to clarify the exact nature of our problem. Now we’re ready to continue with massive action and move into solutions.
Day 17 through Day 20 – List All Potential Solutions
Without recognizing any constraints, write down all the possible solutions to your problem. Even solutions beyond your control. Just let your mind roam free. My best friend is an actor who hasn’t worked in a while. It’s starting to impact his life and he’s wants a change. He wants to reinvent his financial life and create more stability. Those are his goals. When I asked him to do this exercise, here were some of the solutions he listed:
- Get an offer to do a movie.
- Hire a different agent.
- Get a “regular” job.
- Get a part-time job.
- Start a business.
All these are excellent potential solutions because they do solve his problem. Had he said he wanted to reinvent his acting life and work more, his list would have only included “a” and “b” but not “c”, “d” or “e”. Make sense? Because he identified the problem as financial insecurity, he had more potential solutions to draw from.
Day 21 through Day 50 – Investigate Each Solution
The next step is to drill down the list of potential solutions so you focus your energy on those which provide your best shot at achieving your goal. For each potential solution, answer these questions:
- How much control do you have over this?
- How difficult will it be to achieve?
- Do you know how to do this?
- What stops you from implementing this?
- Do you understand what you need to do to get this done?
- Will this solution solve your real problem?
- How doable is this?
- How long will it take you?
- What are the chances of success?
- Do you have the resources you need to get this done?
Write your answers down and consult with your trusted accountability partner again. Delete those potential solutions that seem very difficult and/or beyond your reach. Any “solution” that depends on forces outside your control should be eliminated completely. They may happen of course but since they are beyond your control, pursuing ideas that depend on outside influences for success won’t help you reinvent yourself. In fact, they keep you stuck.
This step should substantially narrow down your list of possibilities. Let’s keep the ball rolling.
Day 51 through 61 – Rank and Order
Meet with 3 different people you respect, trust and who are successful. If you are uncomfortable asking for help from these people, dont’ worry. There are concrete ways to ask others for help without the fear or pain. Go over your filtered list of solutions and the answers you came up with during days 21 through 50. Meet with these people individually and tell them which options you are going to pursue and why. See if they agree with your thinking or if they think you have overlooked something. If you’ve been thorough and honest, you should come to a consensus and clear direction on which of all the options is the most promising and doable.
Day 62 Ice Cream Day Again
You have to feel pretty good about yourself if you think about all you’ve accomplished in just 2 short months. This time, I suggest you splurge and get a double topping. You really deserve it.
63 through 90 – Interview
Your goal over the next 27 days is to interview at least 5 people who are doing or who have done what you want to do. People love sharing their success and most people love helping others. Create a list of 15 questions to determine what the next steps are for you. Meet with the people on your list and go over the questions. Tell them what you are trying to do and why. Ask for their advice but don’t be a pain. Rather than bore them with a long history or retelling of your situation, ask them about themselves.
- What is the best way to start this process?
- What are the pitfalls?
- What is the best advice you would give to someone in my situation?
- What should I avoid?
- Which important questions have I failed to ask?
- How long should I reasonably expect to wait until I reach my goal?
- What is the one most important ingredient responsible for your success?
- Who else should I network with or interview who can help me understand this process better?
These are the kinds of questions you should ask. Don’t ask for a job or anything tangible. Ask for help understanding and ask to be introduced to others who can also share their experiences. Sooner or later somebody is going to know somebody who can actually open a door for you. Just don’t ask for this to happen. Let it occur organically.
Day 91 through 99
Get into action on what you’ve learned. It’s as simple as that. If your goal is to get out of debt, you probably won’t be out of debt by day 91 but you will have reinvented yourself. Rather than someone who doesn’t know what to do, you’ll know exactly what the next best steps are. If you want to change your career, you’ll have specific steps. You’ll know what you want to do and who to talk to about it. You’ll have a list of questions to ask and you’ll have a clear-cut path to follow.
In my opinion, getting into action in an intelligent informed manner is transformative. As long as you keep on this path, stay open to direction and take action, you will reach your goal before you know it.
What steps have you taken to reinvent yourself?