Questioning the legacy project

‘I always tell my kids if you lay down, people will step over you. But if you keep scrambling, if you keep going, someone will always, always give you a hand. Always. But you gotta keep dancing, you gotta keep your feet moving.’   Morgan Freeman

The legacy project honeymoon has ended. The back-to-reality phase has now been going on for a loooooong time. You are all alone, and you may have even lost a few good friends as a result of starting or continuing with this project. You have spent all your resources than you had allocated to this entire project and more, and you are not even halfway on your way to completion.

 It is around about this time that the questions begin: Why did I ever think this was a good idea? Why am I keeping going, what’s the point? What if I never finish? All my friends have nice cushy jobs, shiny partners, and kids; why am I the only one living in the slums, working on this project that is leading nowhere?

 The comparison with those living in safety while you’re out in the middle of wilderness, following a star that you may never reach, are the worst. You keep asking yourself where you went wrong. And in hindsight, you know what you should have done differently to complete the project successfully without any of this, but it is too late. It feels like second-guessing yourself is all you can do.

 You need to snap out of this state asap. And if this legacy project was worth starting in the first place, then you have to complete it.

 Okay, here are four things you need to do to get you out of this:

1. Find the smallest chunk. Pick a task that needs done to take the project further. Set yourself the smallest milestone imaginable towards completing that task – it could be as small as opening a computer file. Start with the smallest chunk and give yourself a very generous time to complete it. Once it is complete, start on the second etc. You will feel much better once the entire task is complete. Now you are finally moving again.

2. Go lean. Get rid of absolutely all the resource drains on your project. Be as creative as possible, and negotiate with creditors etc.

3. Revise your plan. Put together a new budget and a new timeline for the project. Be realistic this time; you have a much better idea of how long things will take and how much it is going to cost.

4. Find people to help you. The right people. Enthusiasm but no experience is fine, as long as they are resourceful and are quick to learn. Offer them whatever you can that will keep them happy. Until you find them, keep working on the project on your own.

5. Keep going. Follow the advice on how to keep going that relates to your situation.

 The time to question your legacy project is before starting it, not after you’ve invested so much in it. If you stop now, you will have wasted all the resources you have already invested in your project. So don’t stop. Keep going, you’ll feel much better once you’re on the other side.

The time is now.

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Alexa Ispas

I am a social entrepreneur, blogger, and talent scout, interested in helping people who want to create legacy. I have recently completed my PhD thesis in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and am originally from Romania. I am writing a daily blog on creating legacy, which you can find at www.alexaispas.com