Monday, December 27, 2010


I woke up this morning thinking about bridging studies - an odd thing, no doubt, to spend one's vacation dreaming on.

A bridging study, for those that don't know, is a study where one takes an old set of data and a new set of data and by performing a series of tests and data analysis, indicates that the new set of data - usually revolving around a new or changed product - is equivalent to the old set of data (product); therefore the new may be used in place of the old.

I'm beginning to realize that if I have any hope of moving my life forward to something different, I'm going to have to essentially do the same thing.

A bridging study is a bridge (hey look, I paid attention in class after all) between two points to get from A to B. I suddenly realized that this is exactly the problem that I find myself facing: where I am on one point, where I want to be on another point, with a pretty severe chasm in-between (I would be tempted to call this chasm reality but I'm not sure that's accurate; let's call it perceived reality).

But in order to build that bridge you need five things: 1) Where you are; 2) Where you want to be; 3) The distance between the two points; 4) A plan to build the bridge; and 5) Material to build the bridge.

So If I look at this list, where do I fit?

1) Where are you - O, pretty clear on that, thanks.
2) Where do you want to be - Much closer to having an idea about this than I used to be, be need clarity.
3) The distance between the two points: This is the most dificult to assess, partially because of point 2) above. Distance can be geographical, relational, financial, and personal.
4) A plan to build the bridge: This requires that you have an exact idea of what kind of bridge you need, how long it has to be, and how long it will take to build it.
5) Material to build the bridge: In theory, this is one of the least difficult steps at all - once you know how far and what the plan requires, you will know what you need to construct it. All (I say "all" as if it were terribly easy; it may not be) you must do is gather the materials.

But here's the great thing about bridge building as I've lined it out above: these are all steps under your own control.

I think one of the great obstacles to change (at least in my own life) is that I am constantly feeling I have little or no control over the process of change; things are too dependent on the outcomes and plans of others. The simplicity (I think) of what I've listed above is that in each case, I can control each step. I know points A and B, I can measure the distance, I can create the plan, I can gather materials. I need wait on no other before beginning.

Yes, there are factors we have no control over - but is is possible that we often cede more control based on perception that we are required to by circumstances?

If you'll pardon me, I have some schematics to go draw...

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