Benjamin Franklin and Winston Churchill are said to have quoted “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. This implies that there is no such thing as not having a plan. You can decide to develop a conscious plan, a plan of your choosing or you can leave it to chance. Either way, a plan made by conscious choice or one that is left to chance, are plans all the same. When your plans are governed by the law of chance, then accidents, emergencies and chaos are the results. When you make a conscious plan, that is, one that is governed by the law of choice then a greater degree of order is possible, and goals are realised with more ease than when the plan is left to chance.
Another famous quote – said to be one from Woody Allen – “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans” suggests that conscious planning, that is, planning done under the law of choice, is a waste of time, but this is not the case. Personal values change, and people, places and things that are important to you will change, so your goals will change accordingly. Plans must be reviewed and then adjusted. Plans may change, but the conscious effort that goes into planning is not wasted.
“Moving the goal posts” is a useful metaphor here. You make God laugh when you tell him your plans because the inference is that he moves the goal posts when and where he wants, but still the best plans are those that are clear and conscious, instead of being left purely to chance and wishful thinking. This is not how you manifest what you want in life. Good plans are also best made with a willingness to change direction whenever the need arises. Good plans, and any adjustments in the steps or goals that may be required along the way are those that are made after you’ve aligned your head, and what you think is right, with your heart, and what you feel is right. You have to commit to your plans. If you are always doubtful and constantly uncertain, then when the road blocks and brick walls appear, you have to ask yourself, “Are they telling me to change plans, or are they there to make me more determined?”
You can’t control other people, places and things. The only real control you have is in the choices and the decisions that you make. Planning gives you more choices and options. The concept of planning is important. You have to take responsibility for your decisions, whether they are conscious or not. You have to take responsibility for those decisions that you’ve made to have a plan, and when you choose to test your faith in the form of consciously planning not to plan, then you have to take responsibility for that decision too.
You have choices, or you take your chances as two options when it comes to planning. If you don’t volunteer to change plans when necessary, then circumstances will do it for you, so if you want to create more order in your life, then make a plan. If you want more chaos and turmoil in your life, then plan not to plan. When you plan not to make a plan, then you are leaving it to chance or to faith. Therefore be mindful that, as Woody Allen may have also implied, “You know what makes God laugh? Tell him about your plan not to make a plan”.