Things don’t always go to plan

‘If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.’  Jim Rohn

It is important to prepare before starting a legacy project. But it is also important to allow your plans to change as you progress from planning your legacy project to actually working on it. Otherwise, you will miss taking advantage of all the good things that are happening due to the chaotic nature of reality, because you will be too focused on keeping to your squeaky-clean plan. It’s probably easiest if I explain what I mean by using as an example a legacy project you are already familiar with – this blog.

My initial plan in writing this blog was to write about a different aspect of creating legacy every day: setting goals, overcoming obstacles, time management etc. I thought it would be best if I kept changing between topics daily, so I don’t run out of ideas.

I also thought the blog would mostly summarise what others had written about creating legacy; that I’d be using other peoples’ terms to help people create legacy.

It’s early days yet, but already I’ve had to revise my original plan in several ways. It turned out that in order to explain all the things I had learnt about creating legacy to my readers, I first needed to develop a legacy vocabulary, as it was easier to explain things if I could assign a label to them and then refer to those labels every time I was referring to the same things. By the way, I apologise for the large amount of jargon readers have had to put up with in the first few weeks of this blog. It was important to establish the legacy vocabulary early on so I could use it as time progresses; there will be far less jargon from now on.

In terms of switching between topics every day, that seems to be changing as well. Looking back over the blog posts I’ve already written, it seems like January was dominated by the ‘Legacy think’ series, where I introduced a variety of legacy vocabulary, as I was mentioning above. February seems to be mostly about the legacy project cycle. I’m starting to realise that it might make more sense for me to write blog posts that are connected to each other, so I can explore ideas in-depth rather than simply having one-off posts on a particular topic and then switch to something else the next day. Of course, there will still be one-off posts now and again, but writing blog post series seems to fit much better with my way of doing things, so I’ll give that a go in a more systematic way from now on.

I’m also noticing that my writing style has been changing repeatedly, even over the short amount of time I have been writing this blog. I started off by using a personal tone, talking about my own experiences (see for example acknowledge, then move on; and why regret is an advantage). But adopting this personal tone made me feel too vulnerable, so I changed to a more reserved ‘this is how things are in general’ tone in the second week of blogging (e.g. legacy projects: working towards your legacy goal; and are you leaving a trace). Over the past week, as I’ve become more accustomed to writing blog posts, I changed again – this time to a personal yet also slightly sarcastic tone, which is much closer to the way I speak than the initial personal tone I had adopted when I first started the blog (e.g. getting over the motivation slump; and the last 100 metres)

As you can see, even within the very short space of time I’ve been writing this blog I’ve had to make some changes to my original plan. And consider that I’m working on this particular legacy project on my own. On legacy projects that involve several people, the changes are far more dramatic and more rapid, as they are compounded by every single persons’ input and ways of adapting to the progression of the project. So be aware of the changing nature of squeaky clean plans, and don’t panic when changes occur. Keep calm and keep going.

What about your legacy project? In case you’re working on one at the moment – is it changing? If you are thinking of starting one – would you welcome things changing along the way?

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