“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.
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