Typically, a strategist will begin crafting a plan by analyzing the present. What environmental factors are affecting the current situation? Whether they be internal or external, identifying the dynamics that impact the present can serve as a starting point when planning for the future.
A strategy outlines a creative approach for the future. Our hopes and dreams rely on its success. However, should only the present serve as the basis?
Every future has a past. Think about everything that has lead up to this moment in time. Each step of the way has influenced your present circumstance.
When considering the future, visualization is important. Yet, linking the past with the future should equally be considered. Recognizing past mistakes as well as learning from past wins should be integrated into your decisions.
How can I quickly filter for relevant aspects of my past?
1) Pick a window of time. It can be any segment of time that makes sense. The parameters can be based on a portion of the calendar or even something meaningful such as a semester at school or a personal relationship.
2) Go back to the beginning, then move forward. Let’s say you select a semester at school to focus on. What was it like in the beginning? From there, progress to the end of the term in your mind. Who was there with you? Did you have particular goals? What were your successes? Were there challenges along the way? How did you deal with them?
Hopefully, this quick exercise will help reveal not only significant aspects of your past, but a deeper window into the experiences that may unwittingly shape your future.
It’s your move. Make it a great one!