I have decided to write this design as a list of goals, starting from the broadest patterns and moving towards the smallest details. The broad patterns will be about my whole life, my raison d’etre, and the details will be about the specifics of what I am doing now. There won’t be many SMART goals amongst the broad patterns. I can’t set myself measurable targets for the biggest things, only aims. But these aims will be a compass for me when opportunities come up that I am not sure whether I should pursue, so in many ways they are more valuable than the more detailed measurable goals.
Ok, here goes:
Goal 1: Become known for my purpose, not for the ways that my purpose is expressed.
Almost exactly this time last year, I wrote this post about my purpose in life which is,
“to enable people to create meaning and security in their lives by helping them to produce rather than consume life’s essentials – food, clothing, warmth etc – and to help people understand that the land is where all of these essentials come from. I intend to do this in a beautiful, innovative, creative and captivating way.”
This is the basis of my career design. This is still absolutely at the core of what I want to do with my life. If I can focus on becoming known for this, rather than for one of the ways in which I put this purpose into practice, then I can easily take my career in all sorts of different directions. But how do I do that?
Goal 2: Build an community
From observation over a number of years it seems that if you can gather a community around you who believe in what you believe in (or are intruiged by it at least), then you will always have people who are interested in what you are doing. There are hundreds of ways to do that, and I have chosen a few (yep, those secret projects again).
Goal 3: Play to my strengths (and get other people to help me surmount my weaknesses)
There are things that I am good at (having ideas, expressing myself creatively in words, being friendly) and there are things that I am not good at (attention to detail, being a perfectionist, focusing on finance). To achieve goal number 2, I need to play to my strengths. And I need to get other people – hire other people if need be – to help me work around my weaknesses.
Goal 4: Just do it
I have noticed that I keep returning again and again to the design process trying to work out why I am not enormously successful yet. I need to remember that constant self-reflection is another form of procrastination. Regular self-reflection is good, but constant self-reflection means that I am not doing whatever I should be doing. Planning is extremely important, but then I need to focus on putting the plan into practice.
Goal 5: Then just keep doing it.
Don’t give up. Adapt and change, but don’t give up.
Goal 6: Maintain a balance of thinking and doing
By nature, I am a thinker rather than a doer. I came to ‘doing’ in later life but I find that I need it as a counter-balance to the thinking (and to give me something to think about!). At the moment, I am doing this through a combination of scythe teaching and writing which seems to work well. I also need to make sure that I value the ‘doing’ that happens in non-career areas on my life – in the kitchen, in the garden, in the woods.
Goal 7: Focus on creating easily distributable ‘things’ at home
Because of the plans for the rest of my life (endlessly discussed here over the past few days), it won’t be particularly easy to go to places and talk to or teach people. For now, my focus needs to be on creating ‘things’ that people can engage with all over the world (I’m being very vague here, aren’t I…). This may well change in the future.
So, that’s it. My career design, guiding principles etc. I now propose to take my own advice and shut up about the strategy and just get on with implementing.