The most important part of every plan is the end.
You can make up a lot of stuff along the way - the plan can change - and if the endgame is still in your sights, you know you’re on the path.
Artists are the master of this. They call it serendipity, a word tbh I didn’t know the meaning of until a few days ago. It’s the word for when an unexpectedly good thing happens, in a short window of time, which you can leverage for your own gain.
For example, as I write my Steem posts today, what if Ned himself walks into the coffee shop and sits down? Maybe I strike up a conversation with him and he invites me to go meet up with some Steem influencers at another spot a few blocks away. That would be serendipity.
Serendipity is only possible when you know the endgame. Otherwise you chase false serendipity.
Musicians are the worst at this. They get desperate and take false opportunities. You might get an offer to be a college professor and think “wow, that sounds legit,” only to end up 4 years into your tenure at some shitty school in the middle of nowhere. Now you’re trapped.
The other example would be a touring opportunity… opening for some big band… a few great press opportunities, look at this feature from Rolling Stone, you wanna join the group? So now you’re on tour, except you start to hate the music, you realize the band is full of shitty people, you’re in too deep, its been 30 months and you’re still on food stamps, oh fuck!
(If you think PR is worth wasting your time kissing the throne for, consider that I’ve been featured on NPR. Am I famous?)
For me, I know the endgame. I know that I want to have an independent music career with full ownership of my music and rights, and I know I’m aiming to sell 100-200 tickets per night in the next 5 years.
Furthermore I know that it’ll be 2-3 years before I sell my first 20 tickets as a headliner.
(Obviously this isn’t the “endgame of life,” nor the endgame of my career, but it’s the endgame of my current biggest goals that I’m actively pursuing)
Lucky for me I’ve got the endgame in mind, or else right now I might think I was fucking up. As it turns out, I’m in 1st place and nobody else is even close, as far as my own personal goals go.
How to Develop an Endgame
Your journal is your secret weapon.
A few times per week, perhaps every Sunday morning to start, journal on this question: “If I could design it exactly how I want, what does my life look like in 50 years?” (note - if you’re 40+, do 30 years)
The question is absurd, but thats the point. The “50 year” window is more of a way to think big (i.e., contemplate that you will be old one day) and to have it be easy to dream big because it’s so far away.
Then ask: “What about in 20 years?”
Then: “What about in 5 years?”
Lastly: “What about in 1 year?”
You don’t have to pursue any of these. Just do the exercise as loosely and non-judgementally as you can, once or twice a week, for several months. Try to write one or two paragraphs for each question, or even use bullet points. There’s no right way to answer any question, just get your ideas down on the page without filtering them.
Over time doing this weekly, your real life goals and dreams emerge and become vibrant. They become so obvious that it gets easier to pursue them, than to put them off.
The way most people feel if they don’t get their morning coffee, I feel it if I don’t get to spend my day working towards my goals. Utter disdain and unhappiness. Get out of my way, I’m working towards my endgame.
Do you know your endgame?