“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
– Charles Reade
As mentioned in earlier articles, each part of the S.T.A.R. (See Think Act Reap) Approach builds on the last piece and does not stand alone. In other words, seeing new things creates new thoughts, motivating new actions, resulting in reaping something new. Or put another way, the more you see and the clearer it is, the greater your ability to think in new ways and reflect in a way that deepens your understanding. With these new thoughts and deeper understanding, you’re able to make better decisions and choose what to do, leading to new and well-defined actions, and reaping the benefits thereof.
Thinking in this new way can produce life-shaping results, on which you can continue to build. Out of this cycle come the benefits of a life that is fuller and lived with more intention, that is less driven by your emotions and the pressure of others.
Instead of reacting or responding to circumstances, you sit in the driver’s seat, so you might literally reach a new destination, far beyond anywhere you dreamed possible.
In our last diagram we used a target to explain how each part of the process is incorporated into the next. This allows us to see it all starts at the center. It shows us that, without seeing first, the remainder doesn’t happen. There is one more thing to add to this graphic. Notice the arrow going from Reap to See.
As we enhance our ability to see more, we broaden our thinking, which leads us to take new actions and reap more results. Then what happens? In going through this process, we find the more we reap, the more we see. Another feature of S.T.A.R. is that each iteration is a cycle that builds on itself.
Following the Cycle
The reason we pay attention to a cycle, or pattern, is that it allows us to continually create new results in our lives. Understanding this can help us produce something meaningful, something of significance. By following such a process, you are literally building and strengthening the foundation on which your life is built.
Each time you go through a cycle, you position yourself to better see and think about what action you will take next. Isn’t that what experience is all about?
For example, as you gain more experience at work, you create the ability to see more opportunities. Most people advance in their careers by building on results over time. Because the S.T.A.R. process is cyclical, each iteration has the potential to allow you to see more clearly and find more opportunity. With each cycle, you experience new and better results.
Have you ever considered how you can build on reaping the fruits of your labor? Perhaps you’ve heard the old saying, “What you appreciate, appreciates”? In other words, what you appreciate increases in value. Reaping is NOT the end of the cycle; it’s a doorway into the first phase of the next cycle.
By appreciating and looking closely at what you reaped, you can be better informed to see more, on which you become more thoughtful in your thinking, upon which you can make better choices on which to take action, leading you to a place in which you reap more, from which you can continue the cycle.
Isn’t life like that—full of cycles? There are cycles throughout history of feast and famine, peace and war, life and death. There is the cycle of the earth’s travel around the sun, from which we receive our seasons, which continue to cycle year after year, adding to the richness of life. The entire universe is filled with cycles.
For our purposes, the definition of cycle is “a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order.” You can think of a cycle as a pattern that can be seen or noticed. While there are many permutations a cycle can take, in our next article we will take a look at three types of cycles as they relate to the S.T.A.R. Approach.
©2019 Bill Abbate
Adapted from the book Uncommon Sense by Bill Abbate www.billabbate.com