I love three letter acronyms. Every time I meet with a new company in a new industry I get to learn new ones... API, SEO, SMB, OAO... all have incredible meaning to the people using them as shorthand. To me, they are meaningless.
So, I've decided to come up with some of my own... and to not restrict myself to three letters. The first... WDYWTHTYDHN? It's kind of like WYSIWYG, only more attuned to my line of work. I always ask the question when I'm talking to someone about an event or a retreat or a meeting that they are organizing.
What Do You Want To Have That You Don't Have Now?
It's a pretty simple question, but it almost always stops them in their tracks. My experience is that the idea of defining a hoped for outcome from a contemplated activity is not a universal skillset. We tend to just do things, and intuitively hope that we'll get out of it exactly what it is we wanted. Ha!
Stephen Covey first penned the idea of "Begin with the End in Mind". It's the same idea here. What is it you want... skills, knoweldge, abilities, understandings and the like... at the end of this experience that you don't already have? And, what's interesting about the question is that if you can't find any hoped for positive outcomes... you can save the energy and not do the very thing you were contemplating doing!