As long as I can remember I have been a bit of a planner. There has never necessarily been any type of master plan, but as a serial entrepreneur, I have always tried to have some type of plan in place towards achieving goals.
From long term plans that primarily get worked out in my mind to daily lists that get written down as much because I need the reminders. My incessant planning has been described as fastidious, anal retentive and even overkill. I am constantly jotting notes, going over numbers and trying to figure things out.
Perhaps I am a little more anal than most, but unfortunately planning is and should be a part of all of our lives. “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” Ironically even with all the planning I do, there is still probably so much more I should be planning for. My retirement savings plan is lacking, with essentially the plan being for me to work until I croak. That would actually really be funny, if that were not my actual plan.
What all the planning and lack thereof has taught me over the years, is that even the best laid plans may be broken. I find myself remixing my plans on a weekly basis. Sometimes it feels more like daily if not even hourly. Plans change because life happens. Even the control freaks reading this know that life cannot ever be totally harnessed, no matter how well thought out and planned.
No matter how predictable people generally are, there is still always an element of unpredictability to their behavior and actions. Contracts are breached all of the time. Emotions and egos make people act out in unexpected ways. The result is that regardless of your acumen in understanding human behavior, there is always a prevailing wild card element in effect that calls for the constant re-mix of the best laid plans.
I believe planning is a necessary component of a well balanced life. I have also learned not to stress it as I did for far too many years. I plan, but do so with the expectation that those plans will change, many times over. Sometimes they are small details, others involve a total revamp. I never know what the changes will be, but effectively plan on plans changing.
That understanding has significantly reduced my stress levels over the years. I still put in the time and energy to develop a plan, with every intention of seeing it through. Now, I just have the capacity to either recognize changing circumstances quicker as well as the need on my own to audible game plans. It is easy to remain suck on the rigidity of the idea of planning. Trust me, it is not worth it. By all means take the time to develop and attempt to execute a plan. Just do not get thrown off or dejected if those plans are derailed and need to be changed. Life happens. Plan for the best, but enjoy the ride in the meantime.
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