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Make A Plan For The Future. Or You’re Planning To Fail

Make A Plan For The Future. Or You’re Planning To Fail

You Don’t Need A Goddamn Five Year Plan. You Just Need A Map And A Compass

I have always struggled with big, detailed, down to the minute life plans. I know they’re supposed to be the key to success, the key to unlocking your potential, but they suck. They suck because life is so uncompromisingly random and chaotic that it’s actually impossible to plan in that much detail.

You can’t plan that you’re going to be X, Y and Z, and own X, Y and Z, and have 9 kids by the time you’re 4o. That’s just daring the universe to f*** with you. And if you do plan with too much detail, what you wind up with is, in the words of Arthur C. Clarke…this.

“All human plans [are] subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe.”

― Arthur C. Clarke

But if you go through it all with no sense of a plan or purpose or map to where you’re going, you’re also setting yourself up for a life without a lot of progress, without a lot of growth, and with no major life goals ticked off! ✅ ✅ ✅

Here’s my approach.

? I don’t believe there has to be too much structure to this. You can literally just take a sheet of paper, and write down where you want to be in a couple of years.

? Write down the steps you have to take, immediately, to be on the right path to reach that version of yourself, that future envisioning of who you’re going to be.


Related Article: Of Exits And Acquisitions


? This is the simplest, MVP of your plan. The way you’re setting it out today doesn’t have to be the final version. You can build on it over time. But the smallest version to start with does actually have to be this.

? Take that sheet of paper seriously. Don’t make a move without it. Use it as your Bible. And when you start to doubt your moves and your direction, refer to it.

I go back to my plan every single week, to add to it, change it and make sure that it is representative of who I am and where I’m going. I make sure it reflects the 100 things I want to do with my life. And I keep pushing ahead with it.

“Without a plan, you’re hoping. You hope you understood what your boss wanted. You hope this feature is necessary. You hope this is what the client meant by “make it pop”. You hope you’ll find a way to wrap up this article coherently.

Hope – for all the good it brings – is a terrible thing to rely on when you have deadlines to meet.

You don’t want to hope you’re getting it right. You want to know you’re getting it right.” – Leng Storf

We want big things. All of us do.

I don’t think people are born with small dreams. We want to get out there and shake the foundations.

We grow up with the stories and the myths that focus on a heroine who changes the world. Who goes on a quest and transforms their life by fighting for good against evil. Those stories set us up to want to get tout there ourselves and stake a battle.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Heroics aside, wanting to take on the world is a good thing, and it’s a natural thing. We’re all built with that as an inherent characteristic, that’s either squashed or nurtured by our surroundings.

But the struggle is that we don’t actually have a chance at that if we don’t identify what this battle is that we want to take on. You have to set a point in the future, and then work backwards from it.

You have to set a point where you’re going to become who you want to be, or achieve what you want, and then use it as your guiding light. ?????

[This post appeared first on Medium and has been reproduced with permission.]

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.

Author

A Sydney based writer focusing on creativity, technology and business.

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