A good idea can very easily sit by itself and go nowhere. Elements of great ideas can flit in and out of our minds like fireflies, emitting brilliant bursts of light then vanishing almost in the same moment they appear. It’s easy to say we are busy, distracted by time, not enough or too much of it. Rushing to work, the vet, the grocery store, the kids, or toward that deadline looming just ahead. Any creative person can vouch that rushing toward a deadline is as productive as walking through wet cement. We end up landing hard, empty handed and sore.
One of the things I value the most about working with person centered practices is, I don’t do it alone. Person centered planning always uses the vision, ingenuity, creativity, and out of the box ideas of a group of people to join people with developmental disabilities in making changes they want to make to live lives that reflect who they are and what matters to them. In person centered planning, we call these changes outcomes. Outcomes are as vulnerable as they are exciting. While they may look simple at first, they come with someone’s hopes and dreams mixed in. They may be hopes and dreams they’ve just discovered or ones they’ve carried around for a lifetime and been afraid to say out loud. Either way, it’s important that outcomes are tied to actions that identify who is going to do what and by when. As well intentioned as we all may be, nothing happens without what by when. Think of what and when as bravery insurance for those we work with who are trusting us with their dreams and desires.