Today I want to share with you the three steps to outcome based thinking. But let’s start with story about an old sculptor who would carve his statues in his front yard.
His house was close to a school and children would pass his yard every day. One cool autumn day, a big block of granite was delivered to him.
For the next few days, the old sculptor just sat around, looking at it. Finally, about a week later, he began chiseling. Every day the children would come by looking curiously at the old man working away. Little by little the block of granite started to change shape.
In the late spring, right before school was out the shape of a beautiful lion finally appeared from the block of stone.
Many children gathered around to admire the lovely lion. One of the children asked, “How could you make that big block of stone into a lion?”
The old sculptor smiled and then replied, “Before I started carving I visualized the lion. He was already there when I started.”
The lion story is an excellent illustration of outcome-based thinking, which is starting out with what you want to accomplish firmly in your mind. Outcome based thinking is a powerful way of helping get your focus on what you want and your beliefs in alignments.
In essence, there are three basic elements of outcome thinking.
The first is to take an honest look at and acknowledge your present situation. If you are overworked and anxious, admit you’re overworked and anxious. If you are 30 pounds overweight, admit you are 30 pounds overweight. If you are $100,000 in debt, admit you’re overextended.
The second element is to know where you want to end up. Do you want to be calmer and more productive? Do you want to fit in the same clothes as you did ten years ago? Do you want to reduce the anxiety caused by your debt? What’s your desired result or situation? This is known as a well-formed outcome. We’ll examine this in just a moment.
The third and final element is to develop a plan, or path, that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be. Maybe it’s to learn how to prioritize your time better or to learn how to coach your direct reports so you can delegate more of your work. Maybe it’s getting off your assets and getting into the gym or stopping the fast food habit and begin taking your lunch to work. Maybe it’s taking a hard look at your spending and saving habits and choosing to do something different in the future.
Once you put your plan into action, there is a fourth step: using the feedback you receive from your efforts to adjust your plan.
No matter your goal, outcome-based thinking will streamline your ability to achieve almost any life desire or goal. All you need to do is understand its basics and then put them to work for you.
Here’s your assignment for today. Think about something you want to accomplish and use the three outcome based thinking steps to carve it’s shape into your mind.
About the author: Wil Dieck is a writer, speaker, researcher, college professor and master martial arts instructor. He studies and teaches people from all walks of life how to use simple psychological techniques to develop high performance habits.
Wil’s most recent works includes the highly ranked Amazon Kindle book, Secrets of the Black Belt Mindset, Turing Simple Habits into Extraordinary Success and Modern Mindfulness, A Beginners Guide on How to Find Peace and Happiness in a Busy World.
In addition to his work as a researcher, writer, and speaker, Wil is a professor of psychology and business at San Diego University of Integrated Studies. Wil runs a peak performance coaching practice in San Diego, California, helping his clients create the same type of belief systems highly successful people use to make quick, effective transitions in their personal and professional lives.
Additionally, he regularly works with individuals who are suffering from stress and anxiety using meditation, hypnotherapy and NLP.