3 min read

Aims & Actions

A way of categorically thinking of problems of different perceived difficulties

August 14, 2023

I believe...

A problem is when a sentient entity desires a thing to transition from a current state to a new state against resistance.

...and I intuited early on in my research that some things are harder to transition to a new desired state than others.

For instance, the problem “I want my shoes tied” is far easier to clear than “I want to go to space”, and though this observation feels like common sense, it pushed a concept to the forefront that I didn’t put much thought into prior.

How do you eat an elephant?

When someone desires a thing to transition from a current state to a new one, how easy or hard the transition is between those two states is what I call resistance.

We are only truly able to clear problems with low levels of resistance, so to clear complex problems, we must first break them down into simpler problems that have a low enough level of resistance for a solution to make transition possible.

This is exactly how we take one bite at a time.

This way of categorically thinking about problems with regards to resistance is what I call “Aims & Actions”.

The Aims

The resistance of “I want to read a book about astronomy” is so low I can grab a book off my son’s bookshelf to satisfy this desire.

However, this is not at all the case for “I want to be an Astronomer”.

To help plot these problem types, I have created a scale of Aims that map to problems of different resistance levels:

  1. Objective: Lowest resistance
    ex. ”I want to read a book about astronomy.”
  2. Goal: Medium resistance
    ex. ”I want to pass an astronomy class.”
  3. Vision: High resistance
    ex. ”I want to attend Kepler College of Astronomy.”
  4. Dream: Highest resistance
    ex. ”I want to be an Astronomer.”

As you move from problems of highest resistance, Dreams, to lowest, Objectives, the less inspirational but more clear-able the problems become.

The Actions

For each Aim, I identified a corresponding Action that is required to successfully transition a thing from a current state to a desired new one against varying levels of resistance, and these are:

  1. Task: It takes 1 task to meet an Objective.
    ex. ”Read a book about astronomy...to read a book about astronomy.”
  2. Project: Comprised of multiple tasks, it takes 1 project to accomplish a Goal.
    ex. ”Get astronomy class materials, study for exams, take astronomy exams, etc...to pass an astronomy class.”
  3. Mission: Comprised of multiple projects, it takes 1 mission to realize a Vision.
    ex. ”Pass astronomy class, graduate with high GPA, get a scholarship, get accepted to Kepler College of Astronomy, etc...to attend Kepler College of Astronomy.”
  4. Journey: Comprised of multiple missions, it takes 1 journey to realize a Dream.
    ex. ”Get a bachelor’s degree in astronomy from Kepler College of Astronomy, get a Master’s in Astronomy, conduct research with experienced Astronomers, etc...to be an Astronomer.”

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