Good Monday morning. It’s the last week of the last month of the year. 2011 is almost over. Are you ready for 2012? I was watching a movie this last week, it was made in 2010, about the idea of companies downsizing and how three executives took losing a six-figure income with no prospects for something new. As I was watching it, I was thinking of this week’s topic about planning.
In the early ‘90s, I read the book, The Magic of Thinking Big. While I could pull many lessons in life just from that book, the biggest I learned was to plan ahead. Life is too short to spend stressing over things that you did not plan for. When you look at the past year, how many things hit you by surprise? What would happen if you started to think bigger in your planning?
When I moved to Dallas in the late ‘90s, I lived in the Plano-Frisco area. In the past 12 years of living here that area of the Dallas metroplex has grown a lot. One thing I have noticed is how they have built roads and planned for future traffic. They seemed to have extra space planned for wider streets to come through. Now you look at the way the area is growing and see they have space to expand.
When I mention all of this, I think back to the town I come from in Pennsylvania. We had an intersection that had two historical buildings on either side of the road. They could not be torn down to expand the road. That means as the area grew they could not grow the roads to handle the traffic. Those buildings would always hold back the growth of the area.
Also in the Plano-Frisco area, many of the builders are putting up what we now call “MacMansions.” I knew a friend who, when he was building his home, planned it to be ready to add new electric capacity later on. As part of this “bigger thinking” he also bought a larger lot so he would be able to put in a pool later. This is about planning for growth, but living in the real world while you are in the process of getting there.
Think about what you want to do with your life over the next year, the next three years, the next five years. Maybe you have a bigger plan, bigger than you see yourself now. Learn to live within your means now, but continue to plan so you are not stressing out over it as things grow and change.
So back to the movie I was watching this past week about how three men handled being downsized. The youngest man lost everything he had built in his 10-year career with the company. The second man was struggling to find the money to put his daughter in college. He was older in life, further in his career, and could not get another job. He ended up killing himself. The third man had enough to retire and walk way but he would have to cut back in his life in order to do it.
Life is not always easy, the movie made me feel for each of these men. In life, helping people start over is the gift I have been given. Helping people to get started again and build life with some forward thinking, big planning, is my purpose. And through planning, you can prepare yourself to be ready for these things next time trouble comes along.
This week I will have a few other topics around planning, but for today I want you to think about planning big. You can give yourself the space to grow by thinking bigger. So take this week and think bigger than just getting through 2012; think a few years down the road. Start your planning to be able to handle the hurdles. Don’t use up all of your strengths to live way ahead of yourself. It’s a great thing in life to have the space to breathe when you hit the hard times. So make 2012 a great year, and start planning past it.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Start planning and think bigger than you are now to become a RockStar in your world.