This post wasn’t written to promote a clever acronym. Because that acronym is CTPMAIO.
Not that catchy.
CTPMAIO can help you because there are two versions — two paths you can take. One you’ll find easy and will get you nowhere.
The other you’ll make a dent with and go forward even if you fail.
What do they look like?
Version 1: From Comfort to Optimality (don’t do this)
“I want to feel good today. So in the coming days I’ll do something different. And then good things will happen. The new things I’ll do are going to get me what I want. There are lots of things I can do, so I am going to do the best ones.”
Comfort: I want to feel good today
Tomorrow: So in the coming days I’ll do something different
Possibility: And then good things will start to happen
Motion: The new things I’ll do are
Aquire: Going to get me what I want
Ideas: There are lots of things I can do
Optimality: But I will do the best ones
Version 2: From Challenge to Opportunity (do this)
“I want to grow today. And I have enough space to practice now. I’ll start by getting my head and body ready. To shift the dynamics around me, I’ll use all the tools I have so I can exert myself on the direction I envision. And when a good chance arises, I’ll risk success.”
Challenge: I want to grow today
Time: And I have enough space to practice now
Position: I’ll start by getting my head and my body ready
Movement: To shift the dynamics around me
Access: I’ll use all the tools I have
Influence: So I can exert myself on the direction I envision
Opportunity: And when good chances arise, I’ll risk success
Breaking It Down
Comfort vs. Challenge
The beginning contains the end. Instead of aiming for immediate results, go down the path of change.
Tomorrow vs. Time
Anything beyond the day you have now is imaginary, and picturing something being different just because the calendar advances is fantasy. It’s easy to think about tomorrow, but then you throw out the most vital resources you have. The 1440 minutes you have today matter.
Possibility vs. Position
You don’t alter your future by thinking of what will be different in it. Alter your future by zeroing in on where you are now and make that a more fertile place for growth to happen.
Motion vs. Movement
A list or flurry of potential actions is not the same as a committed, purposeful action.
Aquire vs. Access
The first focuses on what you want and receive. The second focuses on what you employ and give out. Guess which one gets you more?
Ideas vs. Influence
Brainstorming near the end of your process is often just magical thinking in disguise. Instead put your energy towards shifting what is happening to you and around you.
Optimality vs. Opportunity
A perfect plan is the result of a failed process. A chance to actually try your plan is the real reward for a process that will only move you forward no matter what the result.
Reconciling the Paths (and Your Future)
These two paths are not in conflict, or opposites. Why? Because the path that works contains kernels of the path that doesn’t.
Comfort to Growth You don’t forgo comfort by focusing on growth. Realize that your current level of comfort is determined by your past actions and your acceptance of where you are now. Comfort tomorrow depends on what you do to grow today. You can have growth and comfort, but you’ll never get true comfort without growth.
Tomorrow to Time You don’t lose imagination about the future by focusing on your available resources now. Realize your imagination by activating the day you have at hand.
Possibility to Position You don’t lose possibility by focusing on position. Get in the right frame of mind and state of body to make the possibilities…possible.
Motion to Momentum You don’t lose motion (momentum, activity) by focusing on movement. Movement is motion that advances you rather than flails your energy about.
Acquire to Access You don’t fail to get what you want by focusing on the full suite of tools you have available. By pouring energy into your inputs you make sure you actually get what you want rather than just fantasizing about it.
Ideas to Influence You don’t lose freedom to think creatively when you focus on what’s around you that you can influence. Drive to make real change sparks creativity in a way that serves your goals. It’s not idle brainstorming you’re after: connect what’s in your head to levers you can pull to get there.
Optimality to Opportunity You don’t lose optimality by focusing on opportunity. Optimality is not a starting point: it’s the result of experimentation, adaptation, learning, failure, and progress. Get to optimality (or closer to it) by figuring out what works and what doesn’t — by trying, testing, and tweaking.
Challenge. Time. Position. Movement. Access. Influence. Opportunity.
Choose the path that works:
“I want to grow today. And I have enough space to practice now. I’ll start by getting my head and body ready. To shift the dynamics around me, I’ll use all the tools I have, so I can exert myself on the direction I envision. And when a good chance arises, I’ll risk success.”