Plans Are Worthless But Planning Is Everything

Everything was written down. Everything was blocked out on the calendar. Everything was perfect. And then it all went to hell. It started in the morning as a ripple, and it crashed into the evening like a tidal wave. What. A. Plan.

Have kids? A job? Both? You know how true this is. Dwight D. Eisenhower said (emphasis added),

I tell this story to illustrate the truth of the statement I heard long ago in the Army: Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of “emergency” is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.

The purpose of the plan acts as a north star. The prep work is still there even when the plan no longer remotely resembles reality. We can only adapt and learn when we know we’re off course in the first place. We can’t expect to learn anything if we were just winging it to begin with.

So – make the plan. Make the prediction. Make the forecast. Expect an emergency. Expect chaos. Expect to be frustrated. And then, see what you can learn and head back to the drawing board.

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.

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