I had a life mentor of mine tell me how he learned to "start with the end in mind". This was while we were planning some events and exchanging ideas for implementation. I have a curriculum I developed for young women and girls. The idea for the program originated from your and community work that I was doing. The curriculum itself was created at a university in a academic and community oriented setting. These two locations and the way things are instructed had to central focuses "funding and research." At the core of my purpose in creating the program was something fun to do, interesting, useful and practical to learn and apply and a space to provide learning, knowledge building, and action oriented activities outside of a directional setting. Still being meaningful, of impact and able to have similar results.
With all of these amazing people helping, supporting and pushing I created a amazing curriculum and program. While revising the curriculum in my own space and thinking of ways to implement I had to recenter my core. I thought of starting with the end in mind and reworking somethings about the program and curriculum. After reflecting, I decided that what I needed to do was put the fantasy into the outcome. I want a space for women and girls to grow into their most authentic selves and develop lives that they are proud of and works that are of excellence. This is something I would want had I not gone to college or worked with non profit and community agencies. is it awesome that I have the research to back the work I do with? Yes. Is it excellent that I have a network and know of of receiving funding? Yes. At my core do I want to walk into a community room with a 100 page curriculum that includes a reference page? No. Do I want a program that at it's root needs funding for the lessons and implementation to survive? No.
I want a pink and glitter designed curriculum with the activities, stickers, fancy pens and fly notebooks. I also want them sent to the facilitators in a purse. Last put not least I want lip gloss for participants.
Will I provide a resource guide with all my sources that I used to create the curriculum separately? Yes. Will I use my knowledge and ability to seek funding? Yes. Will I use my network and skill to keep the program going with or without external funding? Yes.
If you are reading this there is something that may be unaligned within your life. Place yourself center stage in your life. Everything that you do is an abstention of who you are at your core; at your center. Do you have a starring role in others lives? The answer is probably yes. Do you have a background role in others lives? The answer is also most likely, yes. Be who you are and to your greatest strength. When you put yourself center stage in your life, your impact and influence can become greater, more prominent, more inspiring and more helpful than you could imagine. If that doesn't quite make sense, I am going to ask you to make a shift and then reread this entire blog. The shift requires you to think of who you are at your core? Separate yourself from your "things", your positions or titles, etc. Then answer the following questions: 1. If you where leaving your home and could only take one item with you, what is the one thing you would take? 2. if you had to choose one place to be for the rest of your life, what location would you choose? 3. If money was no issue, where would you be right now at this very moment?
After answering and reflecting on those questions i would encourage you to put the fantasy into the outcome of whatever you are doing with your life. An outcome is not an "ending". Identify if your outcome is something that takes place internally or externally. Yes, things that shift internally can manifest into external form. However, separating where the shift should occur is important.
I imagined myself walking into my girls group and opening up my own curriculum. I sucked my teeth. I went back to make some shifts for the young woman in me who skips class, volunteers, follows the rules for what she wants to learn or the goals she wants to reach, and gets to grab things out of school administrators cars when she should be in class (trusted with their keys). That girl grew and learned a lot. My growth, which includes hardcore classroom participation in college and funding given to me from highly exclusive and hard to reach places without a "ask" would make me want to add handouts, materials for the activities, resources on conflict management, intervention strategies, dealing with internal prejudice and stereotypes and tools for leading other leaders.
Put the fantasy into your outcome.