LET’S TALK ABOUT PLANNING

“Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. “

1 Corinthians 9:24, 26 (NIV)

We all can still remember January like it was yesterday.  Its a fast paced world where time flies. Everywhere you turn you hear –  no time. Its November already. 2013 is almost ending and 2014 is lurking around the corners. I know that 2013 isn’t yet over but allow me share something(s) I have learnt this year on the topic (and reality) of planning.

One of the best things I did this year was scheduling a part of my annual leave for the beginning of the year. It afforded me the opportunity to put life in slow motion. I realise that a lot of times we get into the new year in a rush. We are reminded of the things we hoped to do the previous year or some years back that are still left undone, so we bring that “aggression” into the new year and begin the year in turbo mode. Speed does little as a game changer in the rat race! 

Sometimes, what we need do is to make a pause and try to change how we have always done things. Albert Einstein said Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. 

Starting the year with a vacation was sweet. It afforded me the chance to consider what approach to use. So I had the opportunity of doing some brain storming, some consultations etc. It was a new year, I wanted to do some things differently. I had plans and I shared some of them here at the beginning of the year.

The magic of having a plan
More than ever before in my life, in 2013 I saw the wisdom in careful, thoughtful and well written out plans. Gosh, the results are mind blowing. I’m still learning though but I’m amazed at how plans once written down can take up a life of their own.

Myles Munroe was in the country recently and one of the things he said that hit me was this – failure is predictable! You see, no one draws up a beautiful grand plan of how to achieve failure but failure is a consequence of lack of planning. I can’t ever forget how our teachers back at FGC Ikirun used to sing that chorus to our ears – if you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.

Let me state an example, at the beginning of the year, I said there would always be a new piece on this blog at least once every month and we kept at it (except for July). The idea for a monthly presence (at the least) is part of a long term goal and I can say its yielding fruits already. The blog stats have improved, the commentaries have been encouraging and I’m already getting invitations to write for some other blogs (without asking). One of them came from Imisi, one of the baddest guy ever liveth that I know. He runs a very brilliant blog and I think you should go see it. He has an idea for a series and I was invited to come on board with him and some other baddest guys (and babe). A plan, if followed, does magic.

Everything doesn’t always work out as planned.
You’d wish I only share the sweet sides of having a plan, but no, I will share this part too because it comes with planning.  

Almost everyone knows that its good to have a plan but its not everyone that plans. One of the reasons for this is because we are afraid of failure. We know that things don’t always work out as planned and so, some of us want to be spared the pain of disappointment(s). Good as that may sound, it still doesn’t justify why you shouldn’t plan.

One of my plans for this year was to publish a book. I put in resources to achieve that but whoops, it fell through. That was so painful for me. It was so painful I wanted to give up writing entirely. Somewhere in the middle of the pains, I wanted to take this blog down! And then I remember that “you should never take a permanent decision because of a temporary condition.” So, I strolled out of blogosphere and that was July (the only month there wasn’t a new post here.)

I learnt something and it is that failures think successful people don’t fail. Warped thought. Successful people also fail. You remember Thomas Edison? We hail him for inventing the light bulb but he had 1,000 unsuccessful attempts before he did that. In times when your plans don’t work out do be reminded that you don’t hold the sole proprietorship/monopoly right over disappointment.

Adjustment
One of the hit bangers of the early days of hip-hop in Nigeria was the track by the defunct group Maintain where they sang – Oyinbo to se pencil lo se eraser (the white dude that made the pencil also made the eraser). That song tells us of the inevitability of errors. To err, we say, is human.

Recently I learnt something about air-crafts. I learnt that its almost impossible for a plane to fly in a straight line, the forces of nature up there work to derail the plane, therefore the pilot has to always put the plane back in focus, if not he would end up in a different destination.

Isn’t life like the plane? Think about it. We always need to revisit our plans to make adjustments and improvements. 

Why am I sharing this? Its because 2014 is already here. I want you to draw up your plans. I have shared this now because I’d love for you to hit the ground running when January steps in.

On twitter, I am @seunalade

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13 Responses to LET’S TALK ABOUT PLANNING

  1. Abraham Ascending says:

    Thanks for writing again sir. The prescription is precise and the dosage simple. Let’s grab our 2013 notes and review, and also start making drafts for 2014.

  2. Tinuke says:

    Very nice piece as always.

    What have I learnt?…av learnt dat planning doesn’t cost a thing, when u plan well, u earn a lot. U remind me of those days when “new year resolution” used to be popular. We shall live to see 2014 and many more yrs IJN, and we shall plan well. Who are we not to plan self when our God Himself is “Olorun eto”.

    Well done Seun! I dig ur effort.

  3. Dhamani says:

    Would like to know your thoughts on “living each day as they come.” somehow it works for me… all the time. I still give myself tasks tho but – I love to live in the moment.

  4. Taiwo Fatukasi says:

    This piece is thought provoking and it’s definitely setting me on the right pedestal for the coming year….thanks Seun Alade

  5. Harkytops says:

    This piece is thought provoking, and an act of making 2014 better. God bless you, brother. Thanks for making us know that failure is part of planning.

  6. Usman Adenike says:

    Nice piece Seun and God bless u on dis. Am also from d skool of thougths of “living each day as it comes ” cause for me if I draw out plans dat exceeds max one month to achieve, I end up not achieving plans like dat and d result ranges from sleepless nights to migraine headache, anyways I plan my day and try to achieve my goals but things don’t work out as planned all d time. thanks once again

  7. Moni says:

    This is a most beautiful thought, though I’m trusting God to teach me to trust His Word completely and a part of it says not to worry over tomorrow. Yes,we ought to have expectations for the days ahead but there should also be room for the will of God,without which I believe we make so many loss. I find it comforting asking God to show me the next step instead of the next metre,it’s what faith is about,being content in not seeing the end of the ladder yet reaching out for the next rung just because God says so.
    Just my opinion…God bless and increase you,bro!

  8. seunalade says:

    Hello everyone,

    Its good to be back here in the comment section. This is about my first comment on this blog this year.

    Dhamani, here is my thought on “living each day as they come.”

    When people say they want to live each day at a time, its fine, I don’t believe in biting off more than you can chew. However, when people say they don’t want to plan on a long term basis but would rather plan only on a daily basis, that is something else and people who say this try to support their stance with Jesus’ words in Mattew 6:34 that “Take therefore no THOUGHT for the morrow…” Almost all (if not all) the newer versions use the word “worry” where the KJV says “thought.”

    Looking all through scriptures, it seems to me that God doesn’t want us to worry one bit but HE sure intends us to plan because HE Himself is a master-planner. He planned man’s redemption way ahead of time.

    I believe in learning from nature. Nature tells us to plan. One of the reasons a child spends 9 months in the womb is to afford the would-be parents opportunity to plan ahead, I believe.

    I also believe that many of life’s big activities, many of our goals and aspirations cannot be taken care of by the “live each day as they come” basis. You don’t buy a car, build a house, obtain your Ph.D by just waking up one day and snap your fingers.

    And this is why I don’t comment on this blog, it usually is a long comment, but I hope its worth it. Love you all.

  9. Iziren Akhigbe says:

    As usual… always giving food for thought…

    *whatever gets measured, gets done*. Dnt just plan…write down. D plans must b measureable n achieveable….

  10. Bukola Okunola says:

    Thanks so much Mr Seun. As usual ur piece has inspired me and I so much appreciate the fact dt its comin up towards d end of d yr and nt beginnin of a new yr as we always see topic like ds come up.

    My question is der are some plans that are associated with uncertainties, in such a situation wat should one do?
    Thank you.

  11. Imisi says:

    Wowz! This is simply amazing, bro!

    Trust me to be the last to see it [as usual] *covers face*

    Funny how our thoughts always go in sync. Everything on my mind these past few days has been about how quickly 2013 passed.

    Sadly, I’m still very poor at writing my plans down. What I do to cushion my folly is recite it. I keep saying it to myself – and the mirror. In fact, I begin to act it. If the dream is to lead a grand orchestra in 5 years, amidst other things, I start rehearsing for the interviews.

    All that, however, cannot replace the old-fashioned tried-and-trusted writing. I shall return to that path.

    PS – I see how you’ve tried to set me up oh! God is watching you! *hehehe* Bro, even if you only wrote once in a decade, as long as your message is as distinct as is, people will search you out. And, about that writing dream, …………….. the old wine is the good one!

    !.!.!

  12. Bode osho says:

    Hmmn.. Wonderful piece, it came at time when I needed to review some things in my life. Thanks Seun.. More Grace.

  13. Lekan Ce eeM says:

    Am impressed. I will hit the ground running!!

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