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Navigating uncertain times

Most business growth and personal development gurus will include in their blueprints for success some kind of 10-year plan which underpins the whole development process. I did a course myself a number of years ago which asked participants to write out their “BHAG” (Big Hairy Audacious Goal); a wildly ambitious goal that would be targeted as part of said 10-year plan. Every action would branch from there. 

When you take look around here in 2024, it would be hard to argue against the idea that we’ve arrived in times that are far less predictable than those which directly preceded it. Things are changing quickly and radically.

With that in mind, does the 10-year goal plan, or even the 5-year plan, lose its relevance?

Maybe not completely. Having something to aim at still matters. But what might be even more important, is cultivating one’s ability to adapt. Quickly, and radically.

In these uncertain and exciting times we’re living in right now—and will be living in for the foreseeable future—we can best work on developing our response-ability, our ability to respond. Part of this is sharpening that sword of discernment that helps us see what is “our business”, what is “their business”, and what is “God’s business”. And rendering to ourselves only what belongs to us. 

One does not possess the ability to respond to something that does not belong to them, but may lose plenty of energy (read: personal power) in attempting to do so. 

In learning to respond to what is ours to respond to, there is a deeper layer of discernment required. We must learn to tell fact from fiction, including those that reside in our own sets of deeply held beliefs. Challenging in a world that seems to be orienting itself away from truth (think AI, “reality” TV, the follower economy…).

These times will require that we back ourselves in, and after proper due diligence, make the call, take the action, and stand by it. We talked about risk in a recent newsletter. We won’t always need to get it right, but doing nothing probably won’t be an option. Not for those who want to move forward. 

You won’t see a tennis star spending much time on the court flat-footed. They’re on their toes, ready. They’re bouncing. It’s dynamic, a flow between states. And while they’re moving forward and backward, side to side, leaning into every shot, they keep their (mind’s) eye on the prize: the silverware. 

Perhaps it’s the perfect metaphor? Decide which title we’re going for—call it our BHAG or North Star or Championship Trophy—then get out on the court and respond to the shots life hits your way. Sometimes you’ll be serving. Sometimes you’ll be receiving. But the name of the game is staying in the game and scoring as many points as possible. And of course, practise, practise, practise. Fulfilment requires love of the process. 

These times are ripe with opportunity… for those courageous enough to trust themselves and make new and bold decisions, and those willing to take full response-ability. 

These are the people who will become the leaders and creators of the new way. And this applies to both personal and professional pursuits. 

I’ve been fortunate to support some incredible people making the changes described above over the last couple of years. Shifting mindsets from rigidity to freedom, challenging their own frameworks for how life is and learning to work with life as it happens. I’ve witnessed incredible results. The path is certainly not devoid of challenge, but rich in growth.

Plan for your plan to not go to plan. Get out there anyway. And if you’d like a sparring partner along the way, that’s basically what I do. My clients would almost never be asked to create a 10-year goal plan. Instead, we work on the finer, more nuanced details of developing the personal tools and resources needed along the way. The inside-out approach, you might say.

Thanks for showing up.

Keep showing up.


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