Does this somewhat obvious reality mean we don’t need or shouldn’t bother with making plans? I don’t believe it does, because the value of “The Plan” lies in the process, not the outcome. Our wise friend, Benjamin Franklin, once said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
When you’re in planning mode, the focus is on a variety of factors that can affect the outcome, things like:
- Internal Capabilities and Limitations
- What are you naturally good at?
- Where are your weak spots?
- External Opportunities and Threats
- What will the market offer?
- How can your plan be derailed?
- Available Resources
- Competing Interests
- Historical Experience (yours and others)
- Unforeseen Combinations of all of the above!
Plans come in all shapes and sizes: Strategic Plans, Tactical Plans, fearsome Budget Plans, Sales Plans, Incentive Plans, Emergency Plans, Investment Plans, Family Plans, Exercise Plans, Life Plans, etc.— even Plans for Plan-making! Without a plan and a direction (your Vision) to guide it, anything will do; odds are what is achieved will be less than stellar. With a plan and a destination in mind, however, your odds of achieving better results increase dramatically. Failure in one aspect, one year, or one initiative merely points out opportunities to consider those factors as you shape the successor plan.
Ultimately, life is what happens to you while you’re making plans. It makes sense to plan to make the most of it.