I loved doing mazes as a kid.
When it comes to solving mazes, there are several strategies. Two of the most common are working backwards and the turning point.
The interesting thing is they work just as well as a success strategies for life, as they do for solving mazes.
Begin At End
Knowing what you want is one thing. Knowing how to get there is quite another.
It’s often hard to see all the steps necessary to reach our goals. There will be many unseen forces working to help us — and working against us.
Milestones can be used as a guide, but it may be hard to determine what they are, and when they’ll show up.
Starting with the end goal and working your way back is a popular strategy for planning. For some reason, it’s easier to see your path from this new perspective. Just like some mazes are easier if you start from the end and work your way backward.
As you plot backwards from your desired result, you begin to see the logical steps needed to reach the end point.
Is This Really the Beginning?
Another challenge that crops up when planning out our success strategies is looking at the current point as a beginning. As you start off on a new venture, project, or lifestyle change, it can be daunting to see this as “starting over.”
But in reality, it’s not the beginning. It’s a turning point.
You’ve already been doing stuff to get you to where you are now. Those things have brought you to this turning point. From here you can look back and see what has worked, your challenges and setbacks, and accomplishments.
These things provide a reference as you move forward. Much like a maze designed so that working from the end is just as complex as working from the beginning, there’s a point where the direction changes. Examining and tracing the path from that turning point can help solve the maze.
Your past is one path to the turning point. Your future is the other. Tracing the past can guide you on the future path.
From Maze to Map
As you look back and forward on your own journey, you’ll see a complex maze of plans and decisions. These plans and decisions have brought you to this turning point. And they can guide you as you move forward.
The more you explore your own path, the more it’ll begin looking less like a maze, and more like a map. A map you can use to plot out your next steps on the road to success.
thanks! very enlighting..
I like the idea of turning points. As a person that ‘starts over’ regularly I can see the benefit of changing my perspective.
In order to move diagonally across a rectangular maze you would be constantly turning to keep moving towards your goal. I think it is the same if you are not following a beaten path.
I think people don’t give enough credence to starting at the end. Most of us go to school through family pressure, to get some form of a job, which pays us a certain amount, which leaves us with a limited amount of time. With whats left we try to carve out a life. Thats so backwards.
Best advice I ever got was to sit down and make a list of the top 100 things I want to have do and become with my life. They don’t have to be huge, just things that would excite you. I would love to go the the Culinary Olympics and see my abs one last time. Point is, once you have your list, then go look for someone who has accomplished all that and simply follow their steps out of the maze.
I wrote a post of the figuring out the why on our business blog.
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