Many chess players learn about chess openings (how to begin a chess game).  They usually learn to make the best position to prime for an attack.  A teacher came in and told the students, “I give you 4 moves to start before I make the first move”.  The majority of the students did the same things: made the best position to prime for an attack.  These students didn’t realize they have narrowed their target in all the days of learning the best moves, they forgot the number 1 purpose: checkmate the king.  The odd student decided, knowing that he had 4 free moves, disregarded the books and simply attacked the king and won the game.

In the exercise, the teacher’s loss was to teach the student about prioritizing towards the major goal and remembering what that major goal is.

The number 1 pitfall of any task or project is losing track of the purpose – “What’s the point?”
There are many reasons why people lose perspective as to what’s the point:
1. Not defining and not knowing what the target is.

Most managerial programs start off with 2 simple statements. This can be in any field of work.
–  The first statement is to define what the purpose is.
–  The second is to state that you are committed to the purpose.

Why is it so important to write down what you want to achieve?

Most people fail because they don’t really know what they want to achieve.  Actually, the majority of these people don’t think they don’t know.  They thought they knew what they wanted, but the ideas were just a blur without any concreteness.  Without a defined purpose, then there is no focal point as to the design of action.  This group of people tends to simply work in some general directions towards the goal, but not truly aiming for anything.

2. Only reacting and not stopping to work towards a target.

Any moment is an opportunity to work towards the targets.  For example, in a hockey game, leading by 1, the opponent throws everything at you.  Often people get panic because of the stimuli from the forceful attack that is coming continuously.  People tend to believe they don’t have time to think, but often, they do.  When they actually do decide to stop for a second and think thoroughly, they immediately discover a much better solution.  Maybe you have a clear path to the empty net, which will make the opponent need to score more goals in a short period of time in order to catch up.

3. Having many targets but only focusing on some.

Growing up, I always want to do many things at the same time: excel in school, excel in sports, get enough sleep, play computer games, have a bunch of friends, don’t get yelled at by parents.  Sometimes, some things end up being more enjoyable than others, and I forgot about the targets I set out to do initially.  We are all humans, and we all only have 24 hours 7 days a week.  Therefore, it’s very normal that some things end up fading into the background.  That’s why we need scheduling and prioritization.  The best way to keep ourselves on track is to set a schedule to periodically revisit the target.

We all love to have a win-win situation, so what’s the best approach towards your goals?
i. Define your goals

Write them down on a piece of paper.  This will help you solidify your goals and thus, will also assist you to do the next part.

ii. Analyze your plan

Do not instantly react to an act.  Rather than just taking action like a reflex response, weigh your action plan against the purpose for your task/project.  Why are you doing this?  Are you really doing this to achieve something?  Is it actually detrimental to the cause?

iii. Review periodically

Train yourself to see the decision as if you are a different person. Now analyze how the progress is doing.

Maybe so far you have achieved some goals but not others. Then maybe it’s time to shift your focus towards the unfinished targets.  Ask yourself why they didn’t complete and why you didn’t work on them any further.  Don’t just move on without understanding why.

Maybe you have achieved all your goals.  Yeah!  Congratulations!  Time to give yourself a grade on how you did throughout the process.  And of course, time to set your new goals.


With love,

Cecilia Or

Always Remember Why Inc.

Always Remember W.H.Y.

Be Well, Be HappyBe You