Thursday, January 21, 2010

The F.A.C.T.’s of Life

At every vantage point the life of each person converges upon the facts of life. Parents, teachers, authority figures and our associates instilled these in us over our formative years and that stood us in good stead for what we now know to be our personal modus operandi. These are not just the ‘birds and the bees.’ It’s our entire belief system—for better, for worse.

Things to be aware of:


Sex, lies and videotape. Once a famous movie (1989) but this is what we have to screen out of life. And there’s so much of it; fiction.

Fiction causes so much pain and unnecessary bad thought and action. Beliefs held deep down that are based on bad information—and we all have them—can only be harmful for us and others associated with us. We ought to seek and destroy. We ought to challenge our thinking and words for fiction as much as possible.


The opposite of fiction, of course, is fact—accuracy, indeed. But accuracy is not simply about information. It’s a way of life. It’s hitting the targets, not missing the mark. It’s knowing the mark to hit.

Living best is living truthfully, accurately, precisely—so there’s no messy threads left lying there waiting to trip us up when we least expect it.


‘How important is it?’ is the salvo a past sponsor used to tell me. And he was right. Only rarely are things that important.

The ‘80/20 Rule’ is common in business circles but not so readily applied to our personal and relational lives. Its premise is twenty percent of things, the important things, require eighty percent of our time, effort and focus. We need to be adept at discerning what that ‘critical few’ is and attend to it.

Tactics (& Time)

In the emergency management world there is an acronym that serves and protects: PPRR. Planning, Preparedness, Response and Recovery caters for the four phases of functional planning—two before and in the event (PP); two in and after it (RR). It’s a time-based schema to ensure that at every stage action is appropriate.

If we implement a PPRR approach to personal life we’ll have planned sufficiently for things that ‘come up,’ we’ll be as best prepared as we possibly can, and we’ll also have good responses most of the time. Tactics on recovery is resilience of character to bounce back. Responding and recovering are two things everyone needs to do. So why would we not try to do them well? This can only be done by good PP in the first place.

Overall, our tactics of life must necessarily cater for the use and effects of time if we’re to be successful. Time is a constraint we have to work with.


These four above (fiction, accuracy, criticality and tactics/time) make the acronym F.A.C.T. A ‘dedication to truth,’ as M. Scott Peck would say, is a golden way of living. It’s a mode of living suitable for you and me.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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