If I don't know what the future looks like, how can I plan ahead?
April 20, 2012 9:10 AM Subscribe
Tools for visualizing the interim steps of long-term goals, when there's no established model for the long term goal? Longer description inside.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I was recently reading an article about a political author that published a little-seen but controversial piece of writing. Regarding the piece, a critic said, "It reads like a job application for 2016."
And I thought, "Horseshit. That wasn't the author's plan. 2016? Nobody plans out that far for something that only might happen."
Then I caught myself. "Well, wait. 2016 is four years. Everyday people plan four years in advance all the time. For example, medical school is four years*. People that want to be doctors do this."
Then I had another thought. "Yes, but at least with medical school, there's an established process. Someone has thought about the medical school curriculum. They know you're going from point A to B to C, and if you work hard and pass all the tests, shazam, you're a doctor."
So, what was this author/political figure thinking? Was it really the interim step of a "job application" for a higher political position in 2016? What was the critic thinking? Do people do this?
Which brings me to the question:
What are the tools used for visualizing the interim steps of long-term goals, when there's no established model for the long-term goal? When people plan ahead without a model, what tools do they use?
* Spare me the details or corrections. It's just an analogy. Go with it.