How to do Anything You Want 4

We have talked about action and motivation. We have talked about goals and direction. Now we need to look at the part that really connects the two together. The Plan, the way you intend to focus your action to achieve your goals.

I have not really been working in any particular order as far as importance or which comes first. I believe you can start with any of these three and as long as you put them all together you will be heading in the right direction.

Many times it is the plan that gets almost all the attention when we start thinking about any business we want to start. Most people will first think of a business plan when they consider starting their own business.

Whether it is a business or personal area it is the plan that most people want to hear or talk about. We can get so wrapped up in our plans we completely forget the whole taking action or setting goals part of what we are doing.

Unfortunately many people will mistake planning as both taking action and a goal all in one. We focus so hard the plan and trying to be sure it is perfect we forget our reasons for making a plan.

The plan is the least important part of the three things we are talking about. Focusing too much on the planning stage has been the downfall of many great ideas. Planning can give us the feeling of action without any actual progress.

A plan is certainly needed to succeed but it can also be the one thing that can cause our failure to achieve our goals. Blindly following a great plan has caused more failure that anything other than inaction in almost every failure we can see.

A plan is really just an estimate of the steps we will need to take to reach a goal. How many times have we experienced an estimate being completely wrong? How many times have we started something only to find the expectations we had were nothing at all like the reality we found?

How many times have we brought our car into the mechanic for a repair, received an estimate only to be called later with the news the problem was not at all what was expected and that estimate is not what the actual cost will be in the end.

That is a great example of having to change a plan in the middle of a job. Many great plans have been ruined by circumstances that occur along the way. Many people have completely failed simply because they would not change a great plan that no longer was valid.

Many times we get so focused on creating the perfect plan we never actually get to working towards the goal because we are so busy working on the plan. Many great ideas were never achieved simply because someone would not begin actual work until the plan was perfect.

We call that the “paralysis of analysis”. Which is really just a catchy way of saying, “doing nothing”. A mediocre plan that is put into massive action will always do better than a perfect plan that never gets used.

No matter how well you do something there will almost always be a better way if you just stop and think about it. The problem is while you are standing still thinking about it someone else is out doing it.

Doing it half as well as you probably could but getting it done nonetheless. It is the people that make little plans and take big action that see the most results. We do not receive the reward we want for our plans. We receive the reward we want for our actions.

Besides our plans seldom survive our very first action anyway. As soon as we take action, things will change. As soon as things change our old plans will no longer point in the correct direction.

A plan that does not adjust to changes we encounter along our way will only cause problems as we continue to follow it. A series of little plans work much better than one large inflexible plan ever will.

Plans are important; they give us an idea of what we may need to do to reach our goal. The most important thing in planning is knowing when to completely change the plan to be able to continue in the correct direction.

This is why I say there is no perfect plan. Even if you think you have one as soon as you take action things will change. Having a goal and understanding each step of that goal is the best plan possible.

By all means have plans but remember they are just estimates that are subject to change at any time. When the situation changes then change your plan to follow the situation. But never stop taking action simply because the plan no longer fits the situation.

Stay tuned for the fifth and final installment of this series.