Tag Archives: Strategy

Do I need an umbrella?

Looking out the window across the cloud-covered sky to the street below I made an assessment that it was not raining heavily enough to impede my lunch time walk.

This assessment remained correct for five minutes, after which the grey clouds decided to dump significantly more moisture. I castigated myself for not bringing my umbrella which I had originally deemed as not being required. How could my assessment have been wrong?

The fact is, my assessment was correct, at that point in time. Circumstances beyond my control then changed the situation.

How often do we make decisions that are relevant to a particular point in time and then become frustrated or disappointed when the situation changes?

What may seem entirely reasonable and attainable with one particular set of circumstances, can quickly become distant and improbable. This shouldn’t prevent us from making decisions, rather it should encourage us to consider what factors are likely to change and then plan accordingly.

This is contingency planning. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just considered. In my case, I should have taken an umbrella – a minor encumbrance that would have meant I was prepared for the situational change. Some things cannot be planned for, but most can! The grey clouds were the indicator that my point-in-time assessment could be short-lived.

For what situation do you need to take an umbrella?


Lessons from the Wii

Some things are just frustrating!

There I was, smashing baddies on Wii’s Lego Batman with my 9-year-old, enjoying great hang time, but it was seriously frustrating! I’m one for determining the objective and then pursuing the path that will give us glory! My 9-year-old is a little more random than myself so I felt like we were wandering around Lego Gotham with little purpose nor strategy.

At the end of the day, this was just a game, and my purpose was more about a shared experience with my son. Whilst this might be fine for a game, I reckon many of us experience this in our lives where the consequences are much more significant and enduring. If we’re wandering around with no clear purpose, without strategy, we’re unsure of what we should be achieving and certainly have no definite plan. Welcome to frustration city!

Frustration is an emotional response to opposition. It arises when we encounter obstacles to our will or desires. When we’re unsure about what we’re chasing, frustration will abound as everything could be perceived as a potential roadblock. We must first determine what it is that we are seeking. What is our goal? Once we know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, we can decide upon the route, the strategy.

Stubborn refusal to accept new conditions can also be a primary cause of frustration. Many things are simply out of our control (for instance, the economy) and our failure to respond accordingly will challenge us. So in addition to knowing our purpose we must be willing to accept changes to the environment which may alter our strategy.

The old saying “set your goals in concrete and your plans in sand” rings true. Be sure of where we’re going, but be flexible as to how we get there.


Image credit: sculder1909 / 123RF Stock Photo