Near the end of 2022, I had an opportunity to take on some new challenges which was very exciting.
A few aspects of the challenge were unlike anything I had faced in the past.
This was also very exciting as I knew this would be an opportunity for me to learn and grow which does not happen everyday.
Two lanes were presented to me, and one looked near impossible to proceed with at first glance.
The other looked also looked quite daunting yet less so than the first lane.
Give this predicament, I reached into my trusty toolkit and decided to SaT, slowdown and think.
As usually, I asked myself “can we do both?” and “is there a third way?”
I came to realize that in this instance, neither of these two questions would be appropriate even if possible.
The option to proceed had to be one of the two lanes presented.
Given this, my attention and thoughts were drawn to lane 1; the one that appeared near impossible.
I began trying to frame my approach around it being a stretch-goal as they say.
If I could get through this, I could get through anything.
Anything worth anything is hard and challenging and will be rewarding once the other side is reached.
Yet, the more and more I thought about it and analysed and used my mental models, the more I realized, it would be impossible for me to traverse this lane.
Through my analysis, I came to realize that pursuing this lane meant I would be near 100% dependant on the actions and participation of others.
I could influence the start of the process yet the entirety of the rest would be based upon others doing what I want or ask them to do.
Granted, I could try and create a process that would force them, influence them, incentivize them, and on and on.
Even with this, I factored maybe getting the 10%-20% of people on-board and success would only be achieved as defined at the start with near 100% compliance.
So, after spending a great deal of time looking at lane 1, I decided to look at lane 2.
In that immediately instance, a phrase came to me thoughts, that of “the lane of possibility.”
Lane 2 would still be challenging, yet after some analysis, compared to lane 1, lane 2 was indeed possible to achieve.
And the measure of success as defined at the start with near 100% compliance could indeed be possible.
For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into details of the initiative and processes yet I wanted to relay this notion of the lane of possibility as an important and viable option when considering two or more challenging scenarios.
One important element to this lane compared to the lane of the impossible i.e. lane 1, was that every step of the process, though challenging was mostly within my sphere of influence.
In contrast, in the lane of the impossible, every step of the process was almost entirely in the sphere of influence of someone else.
I do realize that it is not always possible to have a process entirely in your control and others will need to contribute and participate.
And in these instances, if you do have the willingness of others to contribute and participate, this will give you indication that this might be the lane of possibility.
With this new notion in my mind, I am now constantly looking all around me for the lanes of possibility.