Everyone has a method that works best for them for getting things done. For some it is critical to have a plan detailing each step they will take. This keeps them on course and on task. For others a basic outline serves as a guide without all the detail. This allows them to stay on course but have some flexibility to explore using guide posts along the way. And then there are those free-spirited souls that just like to wing their way through. But as C. S. Lewis so perfectly stated: “With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere.”
As a writer, I find that I tend to move within all three of these approaches depending upon what I’m writing and how developed my idea is at the onset. It’s a bit like life. What is clear is that as C. S. Lewis reminded us, everything starts somewhere. No matter what we’re doing, we usually have at least an idea of where we’re headed or why we’re embarking on the journey. That has always been the most influential element of value for me in any plan, regardless of the level of detail. There has to be an expected outcome for me to know how to begin. There it is then, the best beginning is usually found in the end.
When we begin with the end in mind, we can be confident that we won’t leave anything out that is essential to a successful finish. Think about building a house. You know you’re going to have different rooms to support different activities. Because of their varying functions, there is a need to map out where plumbing will be, where electrical will be routed, where windows and doors will be required and so on and so forth.
We live our lives with the end in mind by having a plan just as the builder uses the architect’s blueprint. That blueprint can be just an outline of the footprint of the building, or it can be elaborately drawn right down to where the furniture will be placed.
In our lives, we serve as both architect and builder. The idea of how much to plan and how much room to leave for creativity remains a matter of preference for style and method. There is a line from Lewis Carroll’s classic tale “Alice in Wonderland” that has often come to mind for me when thinking about how to best balance the two. There is a beginning and an end. What is between is the journey. Here it is in his words:
“The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. ‘Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked. ‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
Sounds like great advice to me. Where will you begin? Find your finish line and you’ll know!
Live (begin) today like you want tomorrow to be.