What is a “Positive Mess?”
It is the scattered chaotic progress towards something of value that results from taking action without excessive planning. I have nothing against planning by the way…I am a meticulous daily planner, but planning can be taken way too far.
You see, we (me, you, and the rest of the developed world) are currently in one of the most uncertain periods of time we have ever experienced. We simply do not know exactly what is going to happen. Never mind the fact that we have never in our lives known what would happen next, as anything can happen in an eye’s blink. Most of our lives we thought we knew what would happen next in general…but I know I have been completely wrong more times than I can count, and that’s not taking into the consideration all the times life has blind-sided me.
Logically we DO know that barring a meteor striking the earth that wipes us all out, life will go on, adjustments will be made, and we will resume forward marching civilization whatever that looks like.
I Have Never Been a Great Long-Term Planner…
Just ask Mel. It drives her crazy when she asks me to think about something she wants to plan in 6 months or a year…and nailing me down on it is like trying to catch a fish with your hands!
My brain just doesn’t think that way. I certainly have long-term aspirations, but they have always been generalized for me, except for my specific purpose (cause) to help as many people as I can to live their best lives and make their greatest contribution for the betterment of all. But even that isn’t driven by some long- term master plan.
I simply do not try to force the long run to look the way I think it should look…maybe because I have learned that as we grow and become more experienced, wiser, and have a deeper understanding of what really matters, what we thought we wanted before looks different, and also because I know so much is out of my control, that it’s pretty hard to be accountable to some plan that has a horizon of 10-20 years. Especially in a world that was changing at an increasing rate even before the current situation.
In general, this means I have more of a Growth focus than a Goal focus. Yes, I set goals, so that I can plan in relation to the goals, but most of my goals are more short-term, with growth long run being the over-arching goal.
As a result, I am really good at planning in a short window…months and days, and then executing in those frames. I’ve learned for me, and many that I mentor, that if you plan and do today right, with an eye to the future, and you keep doing that consistently, then the rest seems to work out okay.
This kind of planning means you take care of the 3 Circles aspects of course. Plan and do the things that lead to an excellent today and that when accumulated over time produce increasingly positive results in all areas that matter.
Now, here is where the messy part comes in. At this moment you cannot plan certain things over the next few months, but you can definitely plan to make a major impact in some areas of your life right now. So….
What Do You Want Your Life to Look Like in the Future?
One thing should be abundantly clear for most everyone now…how they feel about the life they have created to this point.
Never have we all had a chance to simply reflect on our current situation of health, relationships, career, purpose, etc.If you can say that this time in space has revealed to you that you are absolutely on the right track, congratulations for an excellent plan and execution!
If you now know exactly what you would like to have changed…START NOW. You can do a lot today. Decide what you want and begin doing something towards it. You only need to plan some action and do it. You do not need to have all the answers and know all the steps. You never will. There is no amount of planning that will make your steps perfect.
I love what Og Mandino writes: “I will call on ten who can buy my goods while the failure makes grand plans to call on one.”
This so resonates with me and is a fundamental truth. It may seem random, since he was clearly talking about doing business, but it is applicable for all things. You cannot study and plan your way to success in anything…from getting into shape to building a business. Sure, you should have some basic idea, but just start. It’s the simple disciplines repeated that lead to success in everything. You don’t need “Grand Plans” to take an action that will yield a positive result or a new beginning.
Jim Rohn said: “The exciting thing is that we will not have to change all that much for the results to very quickly change for us.”
It’s so much better to make a mess through trying hard, than to have a clean desk and no results! Success in everything is messy. Always. Start making a mess now, and you will be really glad you did as you go forward.
I hope you found this helpful. Please share with others if you believe they would benefit.
Here is a recent video on How to Design an Awesome Life
Many Blessings, Todd
P.S. “3 Circles Living” will not only help you condition yourself properly, but it will also give you an exact formula for achieving your richest life possible. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!