You need rubbish plans

People get very hung up about plans. They know they need them but they are freaked out by the idea of doing them. Why is this? It’s because they is an intellectual and emotional conflict within them. Plans are mostly rubbish, but they are essential for success. We need them but know they are pointless.

It’s the difference between the process of planning, and the output of planning, which is the actual plan.

Let’s face it, the only certain thing about a plan is that it is wrong. It’s a story we’ve made up about the future that won’t happen. It’s an illusion to make us feel that we are in control of our destiny, when we know we have very little influence on the future and can’t know what’s going to happen. It’s basically a big guess that we know we’re going to get wrong.

The process of creating the plan, however, is incredibly valuable and powerful. Thinking about the future, creating possible realities and testing them against each other and our experience, anticipating possible problems and creating solutions to them – all this makes us better prepared to actually respond to the unknown that is actually the future. Imagining ourselves in these future situations, testing out the options, exploring the possibilities; this is all incredibly motivating and energising and so puts us in a much better state to deal with whatever the future throws up.

So, you need plans. Even though you know they are rubbish.

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