Okay we’ve all heard the quote “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” The question is, do you believe that’s true? Are you convinced that there is real value connected with having a well thought out plan of action?
Think about the difference between a spur of the moment, emotionally motivated decision, compared to a well thought out and carefully planned one. In your experience, which scenario has a higher rate of success? When making important decisions that affect your life, do you tend to rely on rational thinking or do you opt for a decision that is primarily based on emotions?
Planning points the way
Think about the phrase “well thought out plan of action.” Isn’t that exactly what planning does? It causes you to think things through and consider all the possibilities. It works like this, first you come up with a plausible course of action, and then you mentally follow it through to its logical conclusion. Along the way you consider how things might work out for each of the steps needed to get from point A to point B.
Going through this thinking process a few times will result in a workable, step-by-step process for reaching your desired outcome. It’s like having a map, with clearly defined mile markers to guide you. You always know where you are going and where you are in the process. You can also anticipate challenges that are likely to occur along the way.
Action gets you there
Of course, planning is just an intellectual exercise designed to make your actions more meaningful and targeted. But planning alone doesn’t really accomplish anything. To actually make progress, action is required. In fact, too much planning, as in over thinking, can lead to analysis paralysis where no action occurs.
Action is always the key to producing a result. A well thought out plan of action radically increases the chances that the action you take will produce the result you want. But in the real world, you’ll never get anywhere if your plan isn’t followed by action.
What about spontaneous action?
I am not suggesting for a moment that life should be devoid of spontaneous decisions, that wouldn’t be any fun at all. Spontaneity certainly has its place and it can definitely add a wonderful sense of adventure to your life.
Every action or decision does not require an elaborate planning stage, but when it comes to important decisions that impact your life or business, you give yourself a big advantage by planning ahead and considering consequences before you take action.
When you take action, is it logically based or emotionally based? Do you think a plan of action makes a difference?
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