Odyssey Planning – 3 Alternative Futures
It's time to ideate the future.
It is a time to ideate your future.
No it's not. Doesn't work. It's a time to ideate your futures, because of course there's more than one of you. We're gonna limit you to merely three today. We didn't get enough time to come up with three versions of you. So we're gonna actually do what we call Odyssey Planning, it's really Odyssey Ideation, these aren't plans yet, these are imaginal sets of ideas of possibilities, which means we're gonna do it three times. We're gonna give you on a single piece of paper the Odyssey Plan worksheet. You're gonna come up with three different versions of you. That worksheet's coming to you right now, and if you're working on this remotely at home, you definitely want that worksheet in your hands. It's very simple. In about fifteen minutes from now, you're gonna have a whole bunch of ideas you haven't had before. Trust me, thousands of people have done this. You can do it, too. So, with that in your hand, let me walk yo...
u through what this looks like.
Yeah, we'll walk you through it exactly how -
Don't start yet, we'll be very clear exactly what you do, 'cause this will look a little strange. So, what you'll see is three different panels that look just like this one we're showing up here now, which is, at the top it says simply a five year period of time. Why five years, Bill and Dave? 'Cause two years is too short, and ten years is too long. That's a very carefully thought out exercise. Five years is about as far as we can think. Two years is all plans really work by the way, and that timeline will include the major milestones of what this version of your life would include, professional milestones, personal milestones, all kinds of things, we'll give you very detailed examples so you know just what these might look like. After you do the timeline, then you want to name, what's the story, what's the three to six word title of this story? You know, "Finally Doing Poetry", whatever it might be. And then we're gonna do the dashboard, how do you feel about your own set of ideas? The dashboard is a set of gauges you would look up to see how do I think about what I think? Now, the gauges are ones you're not used to, so there are four of them - resources, which simply means, Do you have the raw material, the training, the money, the contacts, whatever it takes, to pull this idea off? If you're gonna live this five-year life, do you have what it takes? Do I like it? Hot to cold, you know, is this something that really turns me on, or really doesn't, you know, how do I feel about this thing emotionally? Confidence, what is my confidence that if I actually did this, it would actually happen? Now, by the way, you may think that confidence and resources are just asking the same question twice. No, it's not. Resources is your objective brain analyzing what your situation is, and confidence is your emotional intuition telling you how you feel about it. You want both of those inputs. And lastly, coherence. This is the authentic thing we worked on earlier today where your lifeview/workview alignment, if I lived this way, is this one of the real mes? Authentic isn't just one thing, but it is within the domain who you are as a person. Is this the real me, or is this, oh yeah, my mom would love this plan! You know, that's great. I had one client who did this thing and said, "Gosh, it was really fun, Dave, and then I noticed that I like it was really low on all three plans. What do I do? I said, you do plans four, five, and six. Now that you've got those out of your brain, so that's what the dashboard looks like, you get the dashboard done. Gee, what does this look like? Okay, so we're not gonna tell you a story built out of the lives of a number of women we've known together, and we've rolled them together to call her Anne, so here is Anne, and she's partway into her career, she's a successful HR person working in the corporate world, but once upon a time she thought she wanted to work with children, and so maybe, is it time for a change? So Anne's at that place where is it time for a change, not just a new job, but a new career. By the way, the research now shows, most people have two to four careers, not just three to ten jobs, so, you know, it might be time for another career. So the first thing she thinks, because she's a business person, she's a highly successful executive, she knows how to run things, I got a four and a 501c3, I'm gonna organize this thing, I'm gonna prototype the curriculum, I'm not gonna build this from scratch, in fact I have decided to work on reading comprehension. I want to work with at-risk kids. Back in my twenties, I kinda thought, you know, maybe I should do that, and I went to the business route instead, I'm kinda going back to that idea. So a lot of people have worked on that reading comprehension, I can go learn who's got the best stuff and I can start deploying that and figuring out how to scale the service around that, and over time, I want that to be really high impact. This is not the cute little thing I'm doing on the side, this is a new career for me. So that's kinda the business thing, boy, that's a lot of work, now that I think about it. Boy, don't forget the family! Again, this is life planning, not just career planning, you know, Anne, she's getting to the place where Mom and Dad are kinda moving on, and we need to be thinking about where they're gonna go at some point. We had the family meeting, and thankfully Mom and Dad said "By the way, we want all you kids to know we don't really want to live with you." And the kids go, "Okay! That's fine with us, too. But we do have to find a place for Mom and Dad can eventually go, and let's do that together as family, which also means, boy, before we forget it, we gotta get that family story, the whole genealogy, the history of the family story, only Mom and Dad know that, they're both the last of their line, they were only children, and if they die without us getting the story, it's gone. Let's not forget to do that. Boy, and speaking of writing the story down, I don't really know what I'm doing! I was interested in kids once upon a time, but I don't know anything about that. Maybe I should go to grad school and learn some of that stuff. I'd better do it in the first two years, 'cause once that thing starts to scale, if this works, I'm really busy.` So I gotta do that now, speaking of stuff I gotta do now, Paris! Let's go back to Paris, oh yeah, Dan and I, when we got married, we had our honeymoon in Paris, we said every two or three years, we're gonna go back to Paris, we're gonna keep coming back and renew the romance. That kinda never really happened, we've never gone back once, so we gotta get that in, and we better stop at the Galapagos on the way home, 'cause it's gonna be underwater soon. I wanna see it before the turtles all have to leave. Boy, that's really a pretty interesting life I could lead! If I do that, I should write a book. (laughter) That would be "Life with Anne", how cool is it? Now, how do I feel about that, what would my dashboard look like? Well, you know, my resources, pretty good shape, actually I don't have the money, I don't have the curriculum, I don't have the people yet, but I'm a good organizer, so, you know, I really like this thing, my confidence is much higher than my resources 'cause I'm pretty sure I could pull this off, my coherence is pretty good." Actually, she's a little on the fence about that. Two things come to mind. Number one, do I really wanna get this busy as Mom and Dad are getting older? I can't reschedule their aging. I hope I don't regret this. Not sure about that. And number two, I loved remembering I used to want to do this. I'm not sure if I really care about at-risk kids, or I just have a lovely nostalgia for having once cared that I cared at-risk kids. If I really do this, is this gonna work, or do I just like remembering that I was going to do it? That's a hard thing to understand. I may need to figure that out. I'm being honest with myself. I'm maybe not that noble. So that's Anne. Now as I said, about at the speed I talked it up, she thinks it up, that's what you're going to be doing very shortly. But you may have been going, three? Yeah, when Bill did the weird thing with the linear accelerator, I said fourteen, but three? I have to write three down? Well, if you're struggling, first of all, if you have three wild ideas, three very different ideas right now, great, go with that. But if you're one of the many people, lots of us at home, perhaps, who many of the people we work with go, I don't know how to come up with three versions of me. We'll give you a little backup tip. So here's the template for if you don't know how to get the three versions. Number one, thing one - the life you're in, the life you're already in, just assume that's gonna go really well for the next five years. Jump in, get it going, this is imaginal, this is not objective project management yet. Just assume that life goes really well and the next five years come out great. What would that look like? And then, assume you're not allowed to do that at all. Thing number two is that thing you're now doing, it's over! That whole industry, that whole field, died, right? Now, anybody in the room here actually, anybody here ever done for a living a thing nobody does anymore? You can't even have that job anymore, the job is gone. Yeah, that's happened to me three times. So, you know, how many of you, let's look at it the other way, would love to talk about what you'd want to be doing twelve years from now, but what you really hope we can't because it hasn't even been invented yet? Oops, they find that thing you didn't even know you were looking for. So if those things are true, and they are, then trust me, there might be a time when you have to do something completely different than what you're doing. Just assume I have to completely restart, and I gotta get it going, what would I do? And the last thing is, if I could promise you neither money nor shame was an issue, they will not laugh at you and you will have enough to live on comfortably, just trust me, what would you do? Money's not an object, nobody will laugh. That's thing one, thing two, thing three. So, if you need a backup plan, that's the way you do it. So now, that third one is about a wild, but we really do encourage that one of them is the wild idea, that that Cirque do Soleil clown thing. Like you've always really thought about that. We want that in there. Why? You know, the designers get this rep over being the wild idea guys, they love to go through post it notes and think of crazy things that can't be done. That seems stupid, why do we do that? It's not stupid, it's not stupid. Because your brain. We want to work with your brain, this is human centered design, how do human brains work here? This si how they work. When you have a nice respectable idea, the internal critic goes, good job, I'm happy with that. Keep going, you're doing fine. You have a wild idea, the internal critic goes, Oh! That won't work!` How stupid is that? You're gonna embarrass yourself! And it puts up a little wall in your brain protecting you from the wild ideas that will embarrass you and by the way, the problem is, on the other side of that wall with the internal critic that's shutting you down from other parts of your brain, there might be all those hidden ideas, including some really interesting worthwhile ones, and what if one of the hidden ideas was the big idea that would be really cool for you? So, we don't want that to happen, we want to get rid of the internal critic, we want to tear down that wall, you want access to all of your ideas. If you force yourself to have a wild idea, you will have knocked the wall down in your brain. You've deferred judgment and you have the green field of possibility and you intuition can work better with you. We've done this before, trust us. It's good. Do at least one wild idea. Okay, that's why we do it, now, time to get to work. You've got your plans, you've got your documents, again, we're gonna give you twelve minutes. What you will find, yeah, whoa! And about half of you will be done in nine. Trust me, once you get going, this thing goes pretty- I'll give you about twelve minutes. If you get stuck on one, jump to number two, go back and forth, that's okay, fill them in as best you can. If you get stuck, raise your hand. We will come and coach you.
And you know, things like raising my kids and going to Paris, that can be in all three plans, you don't have to not have children in one of the plans. So if there's certain things that are on the bucket list and they're going to show up everywhere, just put them in all three plans, that's fine, but make sure-
Scale! Mount Fuji before snow melts
Being a project manager at this construction company or another one, or a bigger one, that's just three of the same. You know, it's gotta be different, and one of them's gotta be, you know, something really out there.