Figuring out the purpose: Its utterly important to figure this shit out for a very simple reason- it serves as a guiding light when I am deciding about my priorities and have to do resource allocation. There are so many things that demand my attention and energy and time – all of which is limited. So I need to make sure that I dedicate my resources to those things that I want to become. He argues that world is too full of “mirage, paradox, and uncertainty to leave this to fate”. And obviously, as I have been learning the hard way, this is not one-time event rather a process that takes time . As I go along in my life, I need to consciously evaluate my assumptions about the person I think I want to become. And these are not very specific targets– like becoming a doctor or entrepreneur , but rather high level goals.
Equally important is to commit to myself to that purpose, to becoming the person I have outlined for myself. But I should not be too rigid about how I go about doing that. He explains this beautifully with the concept of deliberate and emergent strategy. He argues that once we have our goals we make a deliberate strategy and commit our resources. But often on that path, unexpected opportunities and difficulties arise. When this road forks, I need to make a decision whether I want to continue on my deliberately chosen path or take a diversion and move on the new path. Neither of it is inherently good or bad rather depends on my particular circumstances. He argues that if you have found both the hygiene factors and motivation factors in your career, it makes little sense to give up your deliberate strategy. But if you haven’t its important to try things out. To quote from the book, ” its rarely a case of sitting in the ivory tower and thinking through the problems until the answer pops into your head. What’s important is to get out there and try stuff until your talents, interests and priorities begin to payoff. ..then its time to flip from an emergent strategy to a deliberate one”.
Long term planning