The principles in this series are loosely based on the Principles of Wealth, written by Erik Hamre, and featured in the novel The Last Alchemist.
The next principle is logistics. You want to get into the habit of figuring out the logistics before you start barreling through.
My dad has a knack for building. He’s always told me that if I want something built, all I’d have to do was figure out how to make it and he’d take care of getting the supplies. I’ve taken him up on the offer for everything from a simple shelf to multiple custom built mannequins for a school project.
What, you thought I was kidding?
Before my dad would ever get started, he needed a plan. Most of the time I come up with projects that are a little out there, so the plans aren’t easily accessible. This takes some research on my part to determine exactly how I’m going to make these things. If we wait to figure that out until we start the project, we’d only be wasting time and wood.
By taking a half an hour or so to take a few measurements and make some calculations, I can save time and prevent my dad from getting a headache. Then I can give him a clear list of the supplies needed and the steps we need to take to create whatever weird thing I had in mind.
So, before you do anything, sit down and think it through. This applies to life, as well as carpentry projects. You know where you want to end up, and you’ve got some idea of how to get there, right? Now you need to figure out the specifics.
What do you need to move forward?
How much will it cost?
What’s your timeline?
What skills do you need to learn?
Where can you learn those skills?
What potential challenges should you be aware of?
These are just a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself before starting anything. Prepare for as many contingencies as possible and your journey will be that much easier.
At this point in my life, I’m pretty used to going through this checklist of questions for just about any situation. I would guess this is because I’ve been trained to think this way (thanks Dad!). If you’re not like me, and you normally dive into things without a plan, don’t worry. It’s an important skill to learn, but it’s not a hard one.
Start with something simple, like the weekly grocery shopping.
Rather than just making a list of what you have a craving for, start with a meal plan. That’s your intent. Once you’ve figured out what you want to make for the week, check what you have (it’s always a good idea to base your meal plans off of what you have first, and store sales second).
Then make your list, keeping in mind the layout of your store. Write your list so that you can make the shortest route to everything without having to backtrack (don’t put lettuce or fresh fruit at the end, because it’s normally the first thing you walk past). Beside each item, write an estimate of what you think the cost will be, so that you can make sure you’re remaining within your budget.
Then, all you have to do is put your plan in action! Simple, right?
Planning out the logistics for your future is the best way to ensure that it will turn out the way you want.
Will you have setbacks? Sure. But you’ll have prepared for them. Just because you’ve made a plan doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone. You may have to make a few adjustments once you’ve gotten started, but when you begin with a direction, you’re already closer to achieving your intent than you think.
Write down your plan for your life now. It will give you an opportunity to see where the gaps in your plan are. How could you deal with those obstacles once you get to them? If you can point out your mistakes before you’ve started, you’ll be able to avoid them.