Over in the corner of my kitchen, just to the left of the back door, sits a fish tank. It’s not a particularly big tank, probably no more than about two foot wide by a foot deep. This tank is home to my pet goldfish. There’s a picture of it that I’ve just taken over there on the left.
What’s his name?
Don’t be stupid! You don’t give goldfish names. I mean, they’re hardly likely to come when you call, or roll over and play dead on command are they?
But now you come to mention it, he does always seemed pleased to see me. Always up at the corner of the glass wiggling with excitement he is, whenever I come home.
OK, I know what you’re thinking, “get a grip you moron! It’s only because he wants feeding! Get to the point will you? We’re all busy people here you know!”
Sorry, it’s just that thinking about my goldfish made me remember something that I think you might find interesting.
Have you ever heard of the Fish Tank Theory?
Well let me tell you about it!
The Fish Tank Theory simply says that fish can only grow as big as their tank allows. If you put a fish that appears to have grown full-size into a bigger tank it will then grow some more to accommodate the new tank.
So how does this affect you?
Well, if you think about it, the Fish Tank Theory also works with people just like you and me. What do you do when you feel you’ve outgrown your current situation? You plan a change or move of some sort, don’t you?
Planning the next move in your business or personal life can be just like designing a new and bigger fish tank. To help achieve this you need a vision of your future the way you want it to be after the change. Without such a vision it’s very difficult to move forward.
So, when designing your new ‘fish tank’ you create a picture in your mind that you want to grow into. The more vivid you make this picture, the more likely you are to achieve it.
So why can’t you just design the biggest tank you can imagine, and avoid all the lesser moves in between?
The reason is that you simply have to be realistic! If you design a massive new all singing and dancing tank with all the bells and whistles, when you jump in you’ll surely drown. You see the size of your new tank is directly proportional to the risk of moving into it.
Big tank = big risk, and small tank = small risk. Get the picture?
Designing your new tank is all about planning your future. You probably won’t be able to move into your new fish tank right away. So you’ll have to plan the steps and timescales for reaching it. You may need short, medium and long-term goals to enable you to fully visualise. And of course they should be specific, the more specific the better!
So, if you’re currently feeling constrained and frustrated about the future, you may have outgrown your fish tank. You need to sit down and think about designing a new one.