At one time or another, we’ve all had to ask for directions. I am directionally challenged. Multiple people give me directions verbally, but unless I have the GPS or MapQuest print out in front of me, it’s useless. In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis describes how life is based on choices. Unlike the popular understanding of decision-making based on compromise, the reality is that we cannot make one decision while still holding onto the other option. Life choices are like the quintessential fork in the road, whether you prefer John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress, or Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.
I believe that life’s decisions or roads taken are so much easier to comprehend and follow through successfully when one creates a MapQuest for Success. There are many approaches one can take to do this: vision boards, reading a plethora of literature, writing a wish list of end-goals, but knowing the ultimate goals does not necessarily help you make the right choices to get there. If you only focus on the destination, it can hinder one’s ability to grow in the journey towards that goal. William Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, utilizes the acronym W.D.E.P. (Wants, Direction, Evaluation and Planning) to develop a roadmap to success.
First, look at what you want—clarify it and write it down. State your end goals, create vision boards and visualize what it is that you think of when your see the #goals.
Analyze your total behavior to define your direction. What did you do today? What will you do tomorrow? What have accomplished from last week to this week. What do you want to see done by next week? What can you do to solve your problems today? This is revisited in the directional planning steps under the “P” in Planning.
“E” stands for self-Evaluation. This step pushes one to recognize ineffective behaviors and, under the Choice Theory, includes seeing roadblocks. Known as the seven deadly habits in ourselves and our actions, these roadblocks include the toxic behaviors of blaming, criticizing, threatening, demeaning, accusing, encouraging excuses, and helplessness. To find success, you must replace these habits using the seven caring habits: supporting, accepting, encouraging, trusting, respecting, listening, and negotiating differences. The purpose of evaluation is not to emphasize the past, but to recognize and replace actions.
The more involved part of creating your roadmap is the planning. Glasser’s SAMICCC principle offers a framework for making choices and smaller goals that lead toward the final destination. They are goals that are Simple, Attainable, Measurable, Immediate, Committed, Controlled and Continuous. SAMICCC goals are choices you make daily to make progress toward your goal. Keep track of where you are so that you can see the difference your small steps are making.
Successfully navigating the road to success can be as simple as changing one aspect of your day that allows you to make the next turn. Your path to success is within your grasp and ability to drive is empowering. You can start living your #bestlife by becoming the best version of yourself and making choices in the present.