Thursday, October 9, 2008

On Goals and Planning

I was browsing through my list of umpteen blogs this morning when I came across C.E. Murphey's post about persuing dreams. There was a particularly lolsome statement in there I felt was worth repeating:

In the comments on Mr. Rucka’s LJ, though, somebody was talking about a friend or a sister or somebody who wanted to be (paraphrased wildly because I haven’t re-read it) a high-level New York executive, and who was just out of college and who couldn’t get the job she wanted and felt her family was stepping on her dreams by telling her to aim lower.

This, I feel, is possibly a basic problem with people pursuing their dreams: *lots* of people think they’re going to start at the top, and in fact refuse to consider starting anywhere else.

Does this sound familiar? Because I know a LOT of people that think this way. Pyramid schemers in particular. *koff*Quixstar/Amway*koff* (Yes, we do, unfortunately, know an entire family that got sucked into it. More on this later.)

C.E.'s statement there reminded me of a particular South Park episode.

Oh yes. The Underpants Gnomes.

[In the gnome's cave]
Gnome 1: This is where all our work is done.
Kyle: So what are you gonna do with all these underpants you steal?
Gnome 1: Collecting underpants is just phase one. Phase one: collect underpants.
Kyle: So what's phase two?
Gnome 1: Hey, what's phase two?!
Gnome 2: Phase one: we collect underpants.
Gnome 1: Ya, ya, ya. But what about phase two?
Gnome 2: Well, phase three is profit. Get it?
Stan: I don't get it.
Gnome 2: (Goes over to a chart on the wall) You see, Phase one: collect underpants, phase two-
Gnome 2: Phase three: profit.
Cartman: Oh I get it.
Stan: No you don't.
Kyle: Do you guys know anything about corporations?
Gnome 2: You bet we do.
Gnome 1: Us gnomes are geniuses at corporations.

Because this amuses me -

Quixtar/Amway business plan:

Step 1: Recruit lots of people.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!

Get it?!

Planning is important. You have to crawl before you can walk. You have to walk before you can run. (Unless you are speshul and skip straight to running, but then you lose out on necessary hand-eye coordination training. Consequences!)

C.E. talked about her plan to become a published writer. She set her goals, she worked towards those goals. She didn't expect to pull a JK Rowling and suddenly earn millions after being published (but boy that would be nice!). She set the bar at a realistic height, reached for it, and guess what? It worked.

Our friends the Quixtar minions are constantly told to write down their goals so that they keep the end in sight. This is fine, but they are specifically told to aim too high. They are told there is no limit on their dreams, and that's nice, but then they fill our friends' heads with the idea that in only a few short years they could own things like a mansion and a yacht. From Step 1: Recruit to Step 3: Profit should only take a few years and there is no end to the money they could make, etc, just as long as they keep recruiting "for the business."


And then they wonder why it took their mother 8 years to turn a profit on this sort of system. (My awe is two-fold here... one, that they stuck with it that long, and two, that they actually made a profit, even if it was like $100 a month.)

Do I have a plan? Of course. I'm still at Step 1: Write the damn novel. But I have a plan. I perhaps need to put a time limit on the plan to get my ass in gear... but at least I didn't expect to write a book and earn millions. (Quite the opposite, akshully. I fully expected to be a "starving artist" for a while during the whole hone-my-skills thing, but then again, that's why I still have a day job.)

So, what's your plan? Have you set realistic goals for yourselves? Are you working towards them? Or have you had a meeting with the Underpants Gnomes lately?

Quote of the Day:

(South Park)
Mr. Slave: Oh, Jesus Christ.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To get published. That's the main plan. If I can suppliment my family's mometary needs with my writing then I've made the bigtime IMHO.

BTW - are you NaNoing this year? I iz.