Methodology for attaining a desired outcome

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In order to get where you want to be in life (or anything really), you can lay out some relatively lax but defined guidelines for metholodogy of self-improvement. Here are my main ideas surrounding this, though they mostly just thoughts and actual evaluation in practise is omitted.


Goals are a good way to objectively define achievement, and generally being able to recognise achievement is a way to move forward. However, this is also the issue with goals, they restrict growth in ways which could not be perceived when the goal was set. So called ‘adaptive’ goals which provide room for variance still have this issue just with more area before being cut-off by the scope of the goal. Saying this, they definitely aren’t detrimental, just one must not allow themselves to be consumed entirely by goals even with a predefined objective.

Now is probably a good time to come back and define different types of goals, there are only really two main types–a goal where completing it would leave you with nothing else to do (in the related space), you can call this an ‘absolute’ goal since it as the name says, a goal where you base the other type of goals off of; these are your relative goals, or ‘intermidiary’ goals. Intermediary goals can have parent(s) and siblings in that they may belong to another intermediary or absolute goal, or have related goals which must also be completed in order to complete the parent goal.

Solving problems

The first step to improving something is identifying there is a gap in the outcome you want and where you are currently at, or more loosely phrased, identifying there is a problem needing to be solved. You cannot solve something which does not exist. Once you have done this you can move on to the next step which is finding your desired outcome. This is just a way to define every issue as a simple problem with a simple answer, the actual complexity of the dilemma does not matter. The reason for this is that the difficulty in solving issues comes only from their intricacies and choice paralysis. Everyone can solve trivial problems; therefore the solution is to make every difficulty into one through reducing the scope and breaking larger issues down into smaller ones.

Though this goes without saying, there are still inherent reasons which complex issues are complex–the very fact they are not easily broken up into individually solvable issues with no dependents or other barriers. However, this does not mean it cannot be done a good example would be project management for building sites: many tasks which need to be completed to achieve the overarching desired outcome have complex conditions and moving parts between other tasks. In a project like this it is simply not feasible to complete the entire building at once so fundamentally small moving parts must be independent. For the reason, I believe a project management mindset combined with critical decomposition of a task to achieve an outcome can solve any problem solvable in finite time.

So what’s the issue?

With this methodology, in theory nothing is an issue (within the realms of possibility of course); this issue lies in actually doing something. If you are unable, or restricted in what you are physically, or mentally able to do this becomes one huge barrier to entry. In-fact, this is likely the hardest part of it all, becoming able to construct and work on completing goals. While this is still a goal in itself, it’s more of a special case due to the sheer number of unknown intermediary goals.

Then you might say ‘Ok, so the only issue is being permanently stuck at step one, but after that it’s relatively easy? this seems fundamentally flawed’–and yes, this is likely the main difference between the ideal conditions in the theory of solving problems and the actual reality. It’s difficult.

I don’t currently have an answer to this issue, I’m sure it can be solved using the methodology, maybe I don’t want to fix it? I will write a follow-up when I have passed this point.


I’m writing this 4 or so months later after actually publishing the beginning part of this post. The answer to the issue described is extremely simple, there really is no answer other than ‘just doing it’. I think that the main barrier to this is an internalised fear of changing. This only changes with time and consciously thinking about wanting to change.