As always, Dave, some good thoughts from you about backwards planning.
I agree with you that in many, many situation we tackle planning from the
end point or goal, backwards to the point where we are now.
There's something funny--a tickle--that happens to people in
organizational environments (read businesses or all kinds, mostly): they
get together to achieve a goal, and sometimes the first inclination is to
act right then and there, to plan forward.
Maybe it's related to how we sometimes feel we have to show our peers that
we have "the right stuff", that we're capable, action-oriented people who
can jump into the fray and accomplish right then and there.
Ego is no doubt a stumbling block to group planning.
At a gathering some dozen years ago, a wise person spoke about
visualizations. He said that if you work backwards from where you wish to
physically be in the future (let's say after a half hour walk, or at the
end of a car trip) by visualizing the route you may know already, then the
actual trip "takes less time". We actually practiced on a beautiful fall
afternoon in the Vermont hills along trails we knew.
To this day I still try this technique, mostly to no avail, but sometimes
with strange results. It depends on my degree of depth of intention.
To complicate this line of thinking even more, there are sages living and
dead who have expressed a behavior for those who wish to follow a Path.
These people say that in order to fill your life to the fullest, work
backwards from your physical death to this breath, to now. By so
concentrating, you will have a graeter chance of filling each moment
fuller than otherwise. And this, they say, is the goal of one's physical
I have another story about the ten commandments related to this, but I
won't tell it now, except to ask, does anyone recollect which of the
commandments is the only one to offer a "reward"? What does it mean? I
have heard a reasonable and provocative explanation. Takers?
-- Barry Mallis email@example.com