Universal Ethics
Universal Ethics

3. Make some wishes

After considering your current situation, you may have some ideas already for goals that you and your family (or other planning participants) may wish to set for yourselves. Before you forget about those, it's a good idea to write them down.

If you are using Pathways for planning, you can put them into your plan as tentative, "unchosen" outcomes. There is a good chance that you won't have the time or money to do all of them, but this way you can keep track of them all and then decide which are practical to pursue. Pathways also lets you organize them into groups, or "paths."

When people set goals for themselves, there is a tendency to think only of solutions to immediate problems (to address things that are "missing in their life" or that are known problems). However, in order to have a better plan that prepares you, your family and others for a wide array of good opportunities, it is a good idea to do a bit more thinking.

So, here are a few exercises to try in order to come up with a wholesome list of wishes:

If you are doing this planning with a group such as family members, you can hold a "brainstorming" session. Sit in a circle, and take turns shouting out wishes, while one person writes them down. If someone can't think of anything to add when their turn arises, they simply say "pass" and you move to the next person.

You can do this as multiple rounds, to come up with wishes associated with ideals, responsibilities, talents, or the future. When the group runs out of ideas (everyone says "pass") the round is done.

This could give you a long list of ideas--too many to plan for all at once! However, it may also give you some wonderful ideas you hadn't thought of already.

For each wish that you identify, write down who it benefits, what motive(s) it satisfies for them, and to what extent.

Using colour coding will help you to set some priorities for your wishes. Is it a joyful opportunity ("green" status), or a very joyful one ("double-green")? Or is it to get rid of something painful (that has a "red" status) or worse (double-red)?

Keep in mind that a wish can also have some degree of work associated with fulfilling it ("yellow" status, for minor displeasure), but that is the nature of life. Some things also have a mild pleasure, which I suggest that you mark as a "blue" status (not really sad, but not quite as good as "green" either).

Now you can pick some of the wishes that matter most to you and the people who you care about, who you considering in your plan now. (Remember also that this is an iterative process. An idea you don't plan for now can still be revisited later.)

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