Reinventing yourself – part 3

When your "business plan" runs out of gas

Almost every one of you has a set of goals you are working toward. These goals are actually a "business plan" for your lives. The more carefully the goals are defined, the more likelihood you will achieve the goals. When they are achieved, it is time to move on and that generally involves reinventing yourself.

You may laugh at the idea that casually stated life goals are a business plan, but you would be dead wrong. Business plans, after all, are not a five pound package of charts and figures. They are a statement of purpose with some effort to say how the purpose will be achieved.

A business plan can be written on the back of a napkin or in a thousand pages of minute detail. What matters is that the people writing it intend it to happen and are committing themselves to make it happen. If the commitment is not there, the plan is a useless exercise. If the commitment is there, the plan will work even if it covers only part of a page.

The big problem with business plans, or personal goals, is that they may be based on a short-term horizon, like a couple of years. Those few years can fly by and your life or your business begins to flounder and you don’t know why. It is simply because your business plan and all of the intention surrounding it was directed to getting to a point in the future with no thought as to what would happen thereafter.

For example, the girl who plans to "get married" has to reinvent herself as a wife once the ceremony is over. The student who is dead set on graduating at all costs has to reinvent himself as an employed person once graduation is over. In both cases, the individuals involved could have done better by extending their planning much further out in the future.

You only get what you intend and most of us shy away from plans that extend too far into the future. As a result, we make plans for the next two or three years and concentrate on getting through life without too much collateral damage. When we arrive at our goals, we may have totally forgotten how we originally formulated them and we find it very difficult to refocus our efforts on a more distant set of goals.

That is why it is worthwhile to keep a file of ideal scenes, business plans, and all of the other planning efforts you have written down on napkins. You should revisit these plans at least once a month to see if you need to make any course corrections.  Chances are, you will need to take at least one of your earlier plans and extend it out into the future. If you don’t you will find yourself inexorably grinding to a halt in some area.

Reinventing yourself rejuvenates you and gives you new activities to focus on. It is the best way to master a constantly changing world.

Take a look at the plans you have for your life. How many of them extend past the next five years? How many of them take into account that most of you will not be working at the same company five years from now? How many of them take into account that you have situations in your life that will change drastically in the next five years?

Open your mind to the possibility that desirable opportunities await you if certain changes can be made in your skills and in your knowledge. Embrace the idea that reinventing yourself is a step forward, not a retreat from failure. If your business plan has run out of gas, it’s time to write a new one which will carry your further. Don’t bewail the fact that your hard-won goals are being rendered worthless by time or circumstance. Get a grip on yourself and reinvent yourself as the person who can solve your problems.

Just remember, there is no rest point in life. There is only motion. Things get better when you do the necessary actions to make improvements in your life. Otherwise, they get worse. There is no other alternative.

Wishing you success in your next reinvention… 🙂

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0 Responses to Reinventing yourself – part 3

  1. Ric says:


    This is shaping up nicely as a good series – I’m looking forward to the next installments. The basis for the next book?

    BTW – congrats on the successful move. Floyd sounds like it’s worth the effort!

  2. Bo says:

    Very inspiring for a young family who is considering reinventing itself. This type of insight is helpful in seeing past ones current situation and envisioning a different path.

  3. Carl says:

    Bing, bing, bing! You are hitting all the bumpers on life’s pinball machine. Nice essay.

  4. A lot of Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) movies have a theme of coming back from failure, my favourite is God of Cookery –

    He is always planning something new in that movie even when he is down.

  5. Stephan F says:

    I am working on reinventing my life right now and I’ve found that I have achieved many of the goals that I set for myself in high school.

    Achieving your goals can be a terrible thing. You’ve used up a great amount of passion and energy to reach them and then you have nothing left.

    Trying to come up with new goals is challenging, goals need some passion behind them or they won’t take. I am realizing that my current goals are not powerful enough and that I need to find some goals that I can throw myself into or stay stuck in a death spiral.

    To help with this I am trying to come up with an impossible goal. By impossible I mean something that hasn’t been done yet but is possible in theory. It needs to be something that will take a lifetime or more to accomplish. Like setting up a permanent settlement on Mars. or it can be something personal like having Christ-like love for all men.

    Your values define your goals, your goals define your life by excluding things you don’t want and including things you do.

    Can’t wait for more of this series.

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