Today, I was blessed to attend Ideas Positive: The Unilab Youth Camp for Change. Not only did I learn positive ideas, I also gained positive energy and outlook in life (and most importantly, a positively satisfied stomach–Oh you know what I’m saying *grin*)

I would say that I had a thousand realizations but what was deeply instilled in me is the thought shared by Mr Ed Morato, President of ABS-CBN’s Bayan Foundation. He said,

Always start with the end result to be sure that you are clear about the goal. Then work backwards to get there.”

And in the words of Mr Bert Manlapit, Director for Corporate Affairs of Unilab,

As what Stephen Covey mentioned in his book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, begin with an end in mind. Make sure you know and follow a north star.”

Beginning with an end in mind. Working backwards to get there.

I’m afraid I fail in this aspect not only in the communication plans I design but in life as a whole. Yes, I set goals and define what I want to accomplish. But at the end of the day, I find myself lost in all the things I have done. I know my strategy is followed and all the tactics are completed but I am not where I want to and expect to be. I’m far off my goal and target. I know you, along your life, have encountered the same thing. Well, rejoice. We have a couple of good lessons to learn.


Why do we get lost?

In driving our lives and designing communication plans, I think the possibilities of getting lost may be attributed to the following:


1. Broad goal, unspecific target

As humans, it seems tied in our beings that we want to accomplish so many things at a time. We are crazy over hitting a dozen birds with a single stone. However, in most cases, this may not be possible. When our eyes are set on several targets, we lose focus. When we have a broad goal, we spread ourselves too thinly to cover almost everything. The answer is to know what we really want. Name a target and specify a goal. We will find ourselves concentrating our time and energy on that single destination.


2. Lack of focus

Sometimes, the problem lies not in identifying a goal but rather, in keeping your eyes on it. There are times when we know exactly where we want to be but we take the wrong path. There could be several reasons for this. We may be overwhelmed with the journey itself, our strategies and tactics. Or we may be too paranoid with the threats along the way; we doubt the possibility of achieving the goals we set. Either case, we are bound to fail. When we come to the assessment phase, we are tired but we realize we have not really done what we ought to have done.



Friends, in whatever communication plan we design or life path we take, let us not lose sight of the finish line. Know our destination and focus on it. Begin with that end and hold on to it. As Stephen Covey reminds us, “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination.”

  1. I believe it is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS important that we (I cannot stress this enough) know where we want to go because only then will we know which path to take. 🙂

  2. galeaya said:

    We may be overwhelmed with the journey itself, our strategies and tactics. Or we may be too paranoid with the threats along the way; we doubt the possibility of achieving the goals we set.

    I believe that a part of the threats you mention here is the people-factor; that no matter how fail-safe the planning anyone has done, no matter how flawless the goal-setting and no matter how detailed the step-by-step procedures are, there will always be some kind of human error. I think, that for goals and plans to be followed, we should always double-triple-quadruple-check, and assert our ideas when we think they’re relatively better than what is being offered us. I’ve fallen to this dilemma too many times in the past… I hope that with this realization, I can do better in the future. :3

  3. This looks so much like my thesis right now. 😉 I have never been good at doing things sequentially and according to plan, but I learned this sem that step-by-step is the way to do it – especially when “it” involves multiple overlapping requirements. The road to failure is not always on the unpaved road I think, nor is success always on the clear, straight path. Focus and goal were mentioned several times here and I think the focus and the goal of every endeavor are one and the same. Just look at plans – they both have direction and purpose – focus and goal. This is a pretty straightforward type of thinking; and it’s something we all certainly hope to adopt.

  4. But as important as keeping our focus on our goal, it does not hurt to acknowledge threats and uncertainties and go beyond acknowledging- experience them. Sometimes, insights are bound to be discovered where we least expect them to be. Communication plans, and life for that matter, is all about recognizing where we got lost, experiencing being lost and picking everything up as we get back to our chosen path. 🙂

  5. Gel said:

    I suddenly remembered us when we were making THE plan (you know what I’m talking about here). We keep on discussing about what we want to do, what will make our plan stand out, and get things going. But then, the question “teka, ano ba talagang gusto nating mangyari?” always, ALWAYS pops out. So it seemed like we’re getting everything going, but nothing done. And I think this is one important lesson all of us, especially comm practitioners, should learn. It takes a certain amount of practice to develop this mindset. What we have to remember is the goal, always the goal. We might not follow our original plan and take right and left turns along the way, even U-turns. But at the end of the day, what’s important is that we get to the destination we want to be in. 🙂

  6. discraft said:

    Keeping your eyes on the goal is very hard to do. Tribulations will always be there. It’s part of the picture, and we have to learn to acknowledge that. I myself had to learn it the hard way. But, there are things that we only learn by making mistakes. Much of the important lessons i learn, I learned through my mistakes. And thus my thesis on problem-solving appraisal. I hope I can create a thesis that will make people realize that how we handle our problems has something to do with how we look at the problem. And I hope I can share it with you guys soon.

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