Create Your Playbook: A Solution for All Life Has to Throw at You
Ever wish you had a book you could pull off the shelf and it would give you the answer to any motivational problem? I’ve got the solution here. Ever have a bad day when you can’t get started, when the world seems to conspire against you? Here’s the answer.
This is your playbook.
I got the idea loosely from the famous motivational guru, Jim Rohn, through a fantastic, self-help guy named Alexander Heyne. The basic idea is that whenever you encounter a struggle in life, you perform a deep analysis in a journal.
This project is bigger than me, but I hope to do it justice enough you find value in it. The playbook concept may be the best self-help book ever created — and you’re going to write it!
We’ll get to the how-to parts of crafting your playbook in a minute, but first I want to delve into why it’s important to make your own. We all need a playbook. My playbook is different than yours is different than hers.
Every coach has a playbook.
We don’t run into battle without a plan, or go off on a journey without a map. For some reason we repeat the same emotional battles without giving ourselves the tools to get through them.
Emotions effect our work. When we can’t pull through the darker emotional states, most of us avoid the work altogether. We hide in our caves. We take the easy way out. We escape, using things that harm us.
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I need a playbook. You need a playbook. We all need a playbook.
The basic premise of the playbook is you dedicate a specific journal for the process. This is a collection of emotional states and project hurdles. You’ll ad to this collection over the course of your life. Every time you run into a wall, instead of avoiding the problem or ignoring it, you perform a deep analysis on a page or two. As time progresses, you’ll refer to the playbook for answers rather then add to it.
Eventually, you’ll repeat these problems. Now you’ll be ready.
We all have a core set of behaviors that make us who we are. We tend to repeat these behaviors every time we run into a similar problem. I know I didn’t realize how repetitive my behavior was. You may not either. When you analyze each problem in a playbook, you’ll see the pattern. You can say when I feel this way if I do this, I can make it better.
Or, if I run into this problem with my business, last year I had the same problem. This is what worked.
This story is just to get you started. This is a lifetime process of addition and analysis. Your playbook is yours alone. Although it may help others, this is a bespoke solution for your life. You will collect, take-apart, and solve some of the most-difficult problems in your life. We’ll take them apart in tiny pieces. Eventually, you’ll have priceless answers.
Let’s get started, eh?
How to build your playbook
- Buy a high-quality notebook. I use a medium-sized one with a dotted grid (see photo below). I prefer the dots over blank journals or lined paper. The dots are printed lightly. I can write text in a straight line, or draw a diagram. The dots make the page multi-purpose. You should pick a journal that fits your needs. Sure, you can build this playbook on your phone or laptop, but I believe it should stay analog. The physical act of writing these solutions by hand can’t be replicated with a screen.
- Write the problem in the upper-left corner. You can use either corner, but make sure you put the problem at the top. We’ll work our way down, with the solution at the bottom. The problem can be anything you want to fix. Whether it’s a certain behavior, an issue with a client, a habit you’d like to break. The first important step in the solution process is to clearly define the problem.
- Write what’s not working — This is a high-level, bulleted list of behaviors and tactics you’ve used to try and overcome the problem, but failed. Spend some time on this step. The more you can analyze and add to this list, the better. You want your playbook as specific as possible.
- Write what is working — Not everything is a problem. There are parts of the process that work for you while others fail. When you note the parts that do work, they will help you form the valuable, hybrid insights in the next section.
- Develop your insight — The insight may be the most-important part of the page. The insight is where you tie your solutions to the problem at the top. Combine everything that didn’t work with the few things that did work. Develop a hybrid solution a reference for next time. Your insight may not be a clear fix. Issues of willpower and perseverance don’t have single solutions. Once you collect enough of these, you’ll have a toolkit you can try when you run into the same problem in the future.
I recognize this process is a little vague
Our two playbooks will be totally different. We’ve got different life experiences and different goals. But the process is supposed to be vague. There aren’t many rules, because you won’t know you’ll have a problem in advance until you have it.
Most people won’t try this.
I’ll admit, it feels strange to analyze your problems on paper — to dissect different aspects of your personality and try to make them better. Think of this as a version of the Kanban system for your life.
You’re the product. You’re also the customer.
As you work through this process you’ll uncover tiny tweaks, one at a time. Each page of your playbook doesn’t solve world hunger or turn you into a better person. One page of your playbook is a snapshot in time — today. What’s holding you back today? What habit do you want to break or make? What’s preventing you from following-through with a certain daily practice?
Don’t go crazy on the first day.
You’ll want to. You’ll want the whole damn journal filled on the first night. I did, at least. When I discovered this process I thought I could come up with ten problems to solve right now. Then I took a breath and I worked on one. The next night I worked on a second. Give your solutions time to marinate. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you.
Now, go start your playbook. You know what they about the best time to plant trees and such. Well, now’s the next best time to start your playbook.
August Birch (AKA the Book Mechanic) is both a fiction and non-fiction author from Michigan, USA. A self-proclaimed guardian of writers and creators, August teaches indie authors how to write books that sell and how to sell more of those books once they’re written. When he’s not writing or thinking about writing August carries a pocket knife and shaves his head with a safety razor.