Can you imagine your house being built without a drawn and approved plan? How then do you expect to achieve your goals with a written, well thought-through plan?
When you write things down, you are forced to think them through.
Things don’t just happen, okay, let me rephrase, things that you want to happen, don’t just happen.
Plans written down are stronger than plans just in your head.
The best way to make big things happen is to make [and write-down] big plans.
Write down your plans. Share them with trusted colleagues. Seek out team members and accomplices.
Shun the non-believers. They won’t be easily convinced, but they can be ignored.
Plans are important because they represent the result of our attempts to visualise our path to an outcome.
A well laid plan is an indication of the amount of attention and thought we dedicated to visualisation.
Visualisation, in turn, matters because everything we build is created twice, first in our minds and then in reality.
But, plans are just an outcome of the visualisation process. And, like most outcomes, they don’t matter much.
Things rarely work as per plan because it is impossible for us to visualise every obstacle in our path.
As your plans get more detailed, it is also more and more likely that they will not work exactly as you described them.
Things will break, be late and miss deadlines, miss the spec. People will let you down, surprise you or change their minds. Sales will not get made, promises will be broken, formulas will change.
And, that is okay.
We are defined not by the details in our well laid plan but by our ability to thoughtfully respond to change and plan again.
In essence, it is not our ability to plan but our habit of planning that makes the difference in the long run.
Or, as Dwight Eisenhower put it beautifully:
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”