Gary GruberCelebrations Change Gratitude Growth Learning Life TimeANTICIPATION, PREPARATION, REALIZATION
July 21 , 2019 /


We like to plan a trip and then prepare for it.  Depending on how long, where we’re going and how we’re getting there, the time variable changes accordingly in all three categories.

When starting a new project (pick one) we may have a vision for why we’re doing it, some specific objectives and then we create a design and plan to move toward achieving those goals.

Imagine painting a boat, a house or a room, and how we might anticipate a different color and what it will look like, what effect it might present and then we get the surface ready by means of a thorough preparation.

If writing a blog or a book, we think about what it is that’s inviting us to express these thoughts or ideas in words.  We may craft an outline or just start writing and see how either of those plans evolve.

It might be time for a big change, in work, in a relationship, in some personal situation or condition and we anticipate what it will take to make the change, insofar as we have the choice, to influence the outcome.  A planned change is better than an unplanned one.

None of the five examples above describe the third part of the process, the desired realization. What seems best is not to be overly attached to the outcome.  Here are five questions to assess what you may or may not have realized.  Not every plan comes to fruition.

1 – Were the time, effort, energy, talent and resources invested worthwhile?  How might you allocate those in the future?

2 – Did you encounter any obstacles along the way toward realization and if so, what were they and how did you deal with them?

3 – Given what you learned through the process of anticipation, preparation and realization, if you were doing it again, what would you do differently?

4 – Which part or stage was the most challenging and why was that?

5 – If you achieved your “dream” how did you celebrate?

“…..that sanguine expectation of happiness which is happiness itself.”  Jane Austen in Sense and Sensibility


Comments (8)

  1. I like your analogy of how we would prepare differently if we were to paint a “boat, house or room”… same task of painting, but they require different anticipation and preparation… and the ‘realizations’ that come as a result could be very different too… also, I liked how you broke up ‘realization’ into a five-step process… that could be an entire essay in itself… I think part of this process is to keep good ‘records’ of the what/when/how/why we did what we did… it allows us to go back and extract learning from our journey 🙂

    1. Such a great suggestion about keeping good records as our memory is usually insufficient. As a space guy you would be interested in Atul Gawande’s little book, “The Checklist Manifesto.” This also connects back to your previous comment on my “BETTER” offering which ironically is also the title of Gawande’s second book. We know this is all interconnected so what are we to make of that?

      1. On ‘keeping records’… I have been watching parts of the #Apollo11 mission, recreated from all the audio, photo and other records kept by NASA and others… so much content, so much learning in the details… // Yes. I will read ‘checklist’ – have heard about it multiple times // As for interconnection, well, we are… our future depends on it!

        1. Science may be best at recording what’s happening, keen observers of both process and product, continually. Thus, more learned for the future. If only cultures could do the same or we end up with what George Santanya said, “Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them.”

  2. Ah. The post-mortem. Too often, I admit, things don’t go as planned and I don’t stop to learn from what I’d do different next time. It’s not only on a big project at the office that a post mortem is valuable as you point out. Also, love the gentle reminder to celebrate. We’re living in an era where we move from one to the next with hardly a breath in between. The celebration is important too.


    1. Have a look at the responses below from my friend Kumud Ajmani. He’s a NASA engineer so his training and experience are different from the mainstream. If only we could learn more from each other we would all be better off and I believe that’s true whether in business, science, education, health care, agriculture, the environment and, please God, politics. True also at the personal level which is why I value friendships like yours and his. I learn from each of you and I am better for it. Thank you, my friend.

        1. Or below, depending on which format you’re using. Above, below, even in between. I hope you who take time to comment can see my replies as I appreciate your insights, thoughts, sharing and ideas. Gracias, mi amigas!

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