What is the biggest obstacle to your project success?

Researching the theory of Systems Dynamics recently I found a reference to the value of asking why. Five times the same question is asked, and each time a more fundamental truth is revealed. Forrester’s early work of SD did not offer this idea, but it seems to work. I can certainly vouch for the value of the follow up question in a consulting context.

When do you want to retire?

I found myself saying the following in answer to this question on LinkedIn a few days ago:

I spent 25 years planning for retirement. I nearly cashed it all in.
My answer now is never. Rethink your tomorrows if you are wishing them away…

Ask yourself what you want to look back on with pride when you take your last breath. Then get started on that in the here and now.

Author via LinkedIn

Perhaps more easily said when the only obstacles in the way of doing what you want, is not knowing what you want. For others I think the reality of life’s challenges cannot so easily be dismissed. I was however reminded of a few truths I had to face of my own. My own modal confusion. Only really uncovered as I faced up to deeper and deeper questions of why. Of then seeing myself being caught up in an illusion that repaying debt and building a nest egg could be my life purpose. Finding plenty of motivations based upon having, not being. It all meant nothing when my wife’s health became a focus anew. I am more present now. But it took several years to be clearer on a better path. My gravest error was confusing a correlation of circumstances with cause.

Correlation is not causation[1]

This is what I deem the greatest risk to this research project. Me. Or more specially my bias and the danger of conflation. My bias is influenced by my wider reading, my professional experience, and my personal journey.  I have become convinced there is link between the layers of perspective afforded by each.

Illusory correlation

Illusory correlation is the psychological term for it. It seems to fit just as well towards projects beyond those of the mind. So is even my remedy simply proof of the illusion too? My visibility | behaviour | trust ( v | b | t ) has informed my own intended change. Visibility of this risk was the first step. Second was to reset behaviours via the control environment to manage it. Thereby increasing trust.

This website a further increase in visibility, another layer of assurance. My behaviour caught by a decision to be taking time, as much as it takes. This is about thoroughness, not speed. Therein the trust via the process.

A better deadline

Finding a passion for learning and research. Being present to this task seems to be my project. It therefore only needs one deadline…

…and no retirement plan.

[1] https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-correlation-2794986