17. Plan, Do, Check, Act…
As an engineering student and a quality manager, I learned about PDCA.
It was drilled into my head repeatedly, until I realized the value of it.
There is tremendous value in the process.
Like life, it is about the journey more than the actual destination.
We are all going to die.
That is our ultimate destination.
What we do on the way there. Is what really matters.
For those, not of the Quality persuasion, PDCA stands for Plan, Do, Check, Act.
It is a cycle of problem solving or decision making.
A very straight forward process.
I bring it up because it is a process that can be applied to Discovering YOU.
• Plan what you want to do.
• Do what you plan.
• Check and see what the results of what you did are.
• Act…what next?
This is a bit of a simplification, but you get the idea.
How can you use PDCA to discover you?
Here is one example:
What is the problem you are trying to solve or the decision you want to make?
Remodeling my home after a divorce to get it ready to sell.
Plan-What needs to be done to get the property ready to sell?
Do-Make a list of the items that need to be done, should be done, would like to be done, could be done (but may not really be necessary or add value to the home).
Check-Verify and Prioritize the list with ex-husband (and a few other ‘experts’) to make sure the best things are included.
Act-Update the ‘to-do’ project list, based on feedback received.
This is a very basic example to illustrate that PDCA can be used for all sorts of things.
It can be used for planning a big project.
Plan-What ingredients do I have and what am I in the mood for? Do I want to cook or not?
Do-Pick and make Muesli because I have it and can microwave it.
Check-Eat my oatmeal, am I full?
Act-Yes, I am satisfied with my breakfast. Clean up the dish and move on with my day…
Obviously, we do not always need a decision making, problem solving process.
But, our brain does this all the time, anyway.
It does mine.
When I am on ‘auto-pilot’ and just going through the motions of life, I miss out on so much.
We all do.
We ‘sleep’ through our lives and just keep doing what we think we are supposed to be doing.
This often is NOT what we should be doing for US (or our families and those we love and care about).
If I am sleeping or living unconsciously, I am NOT being me.
We are made for so much more.
We are here to be happy and thrive.
To live the best life we can, be the best human being we can be, and set the example for the rest of the world.
Apply PDCA to one thing you encounter today.
Just give it a try.
What is one decision or problem you want to make today?
What is one project you want to do?
What is one goal you want to achieve?
This does not have to be grandiose.
One small action in the direction of your goal, really does work!
Did what you do have an impact/result?
What’s the logical next step?
Why or why not?
Use it again.
Hint: Spend most of your time on the PLAN part.
Discovering YOU is the most important thing you can do right now.
Be Loving. Love Being. Be YOU!
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