Blog - Thinking Processes the DifferenceEveryone thinks about the future—some intentionally, some wistfully. Occasionally, our thoughts evaporate as fast as we notice them. Sometimes these thoughts turn into something meaningful, like new hopes, dreams, or even fears about the future. If we are motivated to make a difference, these hopes and dreams develop into plans and actions. Little hopes and dreams can become bigger, and all the while, they started from one little word, if.

When used with the words had or would, the word if is meaningless (e.g. if I had money; if I had time; if he/she would have—). When paired with an action word, the word if to becomes a glimmer or something more (e.g. What if I make time? What if I were to—? What if I change—? What if I spend my time doing—?) Not all if questions will be developed or even answered. However, some of these if questions will become successful endeavors when your thinking becomes strategic.  Have your if-questions moved you towards strategic thinking? Look at the criteria below to determine if your if needs to be developed strategically.


Strategic Thinking

Your Intent

Casual (would like)

Purposeful (Will do)

The Timing

Approximate (someday)

Defined (limits)

Your Plans

Vague (perhaps)

Determined (clear)

Future Actions

Unfocused (sidetracked)

Deliberate (attentive)

Its Value

Insignificant (lacking)

Differentiating (wow)


Unrealistic (get real)

Attainable (reasonable)

Resources and Support

Limited (unattainable)

Realistic (likely)

Your Passion

Low (Nice)

High (Need)

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About the Author
Martha Rice

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