We’ve all heard about the best laid plans going awry. Some people won’t take two steps forward in life or business if the situation doesn’t meet the plan that they’ve laid out for themselves. Others figure why bother and just take each day as it comes. Who’s right?
Planning vs. Fancy Free
If planning comes naturally to you it’s hard to imagine not having that framework in place. After all how do you know where you’re going if you have no plan to get there? If you fail to plan then you’re planning to fail–aren’t you? It’s easy to judge those without a plan as being aimless or ill prepared and to an extent they may be. At the same time, for us planners, have we looked at ourselves in the mirror?
Those who don’t live and die by a plan often sit back in amazement at those who seem to have every stage of life or work mapped out in advance. Living life by a strict plan that’s been in place for years seems rigid and unforgiving. Where’s the chance for spontaneity? What happens if life doesn’t agree with your plan?
The truth is that there needs to be compromise between the two approaches. Not having a plan for what you want out of life can lead to missed opportunities if you’re ill prepared. Planning has its virtues and should be a part of your life and business, but you have to be careful that you are not setting yourself up for disappointment when you can’t adapt to the inevitable curve balls that life throws you.
Your ‘Plan” Should…
Be Flexible and Not rigid. Use your plan as a guideline for what you hope to achieve, but leave yourself room for change as life happens around you. Your plan should give guidance and not stifle the process.
Act as a Framework.
Lay out your wish list and actions that you need to take to get there.
After all you wouldn’t drive across country without planning your trip. Having a framework or a plan will make sure you get to make the important stops along the way that you want to,
Live and Change as it Needs to.
Life is about adaptation. As your lifestyle and life stage changes, your plan will need to change with you. Give yourself room to grow and navigate Life’s twists and turns so that you have a better chance of reaching the end game. Be ready for the detours that life will give you so that you have a better chance of reaching your intended destination.
Successful people and businesses work from a plan that they lay out with attainable goals and benchmarks that they’ll use to measure success. This plan is usually reviewed frequently to make sure that the goals and priorities still align with the mission and are still within reach.
If you’re used to living foot loose and fancy free, consider what opportunities you’ve missed because you hadn’t planned ahead and wasn’t prepared to take advantage of what life presented you.
If you’re used to planning every last detail, consider what a little flexibility could do to enhance your experiences and perhaps bring you closer to your goals than what you’ve originally laid out.
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