Lesson from Getting Things Done: Goals, Visions and Perspective

In his super useful book Getting Things Done, David Allen gives the six-level model to review everything you do in life, using the metaphor of “altitude”:

  • 50,000+ feet: Life
  • 40,000 feet: Three- to five-year vision
  • 30,000 feet: One- to two-year goals
  • 20,000 feet: Areas of responsibility
  • 10,000 feet: Current projects
  • Runway: Current actions

At the top, you have the “Big Picture”, about the ultimate meaning of your life and why you are here. When you move down a bit, you start seeing long to mid range goals that are in harmony with the big picture. Then you see areas of responsibility such as being a good mother, spouse, or earning good professional reputation, etc. Current projects are very short term goals that requires a string of Current Actions to complete.

If you feel like you’re spinning wheels and not accomplishing meaningful things, you may want to try shifting your perspective to “higher altitude” to see if anything is amiss in the larger picture of your life.   You may find that the day-to-day actions lose meaning if they are disconnected from the “why” of your existence.

When our vision is limited to the Runway (Current Actions), we tend to procrastinate and react to other people, letting crisis and nagging from other people in your life dictate our actions.  This could lead to feeling constantly overwhelmed and victimized.

If we shift our viewpoint to the 10,000 ft level (Current Projects), we begin to manage the our tasks pretty well, but still lack vision.  We may do okay but feel bored with work and life.

If we continue moving up to the 20,000 ft level (Areas of Responsibilities) – we feel motivated to be good employees/parents/spouse, etc., and may become excellent in our chosen area.  However, even at this level we may lack passion and inner fulfillment, because we’re merely fulfilling the roles that were given to us by other people, which may not align with what we really would like to achieve in this life.

What happens at 30,000 and 40,000 ft level?  The higher we go in our perspective, we start to have a sense of long term goals and visions – in finance, marriage and career achievements.  We may achieve a great deal and feel a sense of control over our destiny.

At the highest altitude of 50,000 ft level, the perspective encompasses the deepest questions of life – “Why are we here?  What do we want to accomplish before we leave this life?”  At this level, spirituality may naturally come into our awareness.

The key insight from this model is that, in order to feel thoroughly energized and inspired, our goals at each level of altitude must be aligned with each other.  If our short term goals conflict with the longer term vision, we may lose energy and a sense of meaning without even realizing why.

The Role of Astrology in Changing Our Perspective
Astrology can be very helpful when we’re trying to broaden our perspective and assess our lives from a different vantage point.  Various planetary cycles (2 year cycle of Mars, 12 year cycle of Jupiter, 29 1/2 year cycle of Saturn, etc) provide meaningful reflections of our short and long range goals and visions.

Natal chart itself contains a broad spectrum of potentials that can be expressed differently at each stage of life.  If you feel somehow confined within your day-to-day life and would like to experience a fresh new perspective (and you like this blog), now may be the time to seek a consultation!  

About Hiroki Niizato

Hiroki Niizato is a professional consulting astrologer in Florida, serving clients in US and abroad. He has been practicing astrology professionally since 2001. Hiroki is a highest honor graduate of the demanding Master’s Degree Certification Course in Astrology by Noel Tyl.

You can contact Hiroki via email at: Hiroki@hniizato.com or Phone: 727-470-4056 to ask a question or schedule a consultation.

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