To be honest, you don’t actually need a plan. You can live a great life just by taking things as they come, and leaving yourself open to opportunities as they arise. I know many people who take this approach, and it serves them well, very well in fact.
But without a plan, the probability of achieving our full potential is small. Creating plans and the act of planning are hugely beneficial to us; they give us clarity about what we are looking to achieve, they open our minds to possibilities, and help us reach our aims faster.
As a mathematician, I know that the shortest path between two points is a straight line, and it’s having a plan that helps us identify that straight line, that shortest path.
Without a plan, we are just wandering aimlessly, and wandering aimlessly is never going to help us find a short path let alone the shortest route.
Why do I mention this today? I say it because recently, that’s just what I have been doing, I’ve been drifting along, without a plan for about 9 months, seeing which way the currents are taking me. This drifting has led me to move back to Germany and to take a role that I am very good at, but not one that I find very inspiring.
When we stop to plan, we give up control of our destiny to chance, and leave our fate to luck. As I said earlier, there is nothing wrong with that approach, as long as we are prepared to settle for what comes our way.
I did set some goals at the start of the year, one of which was to contribute to Forbes, something that I achieved in March, and to land a TEDx Talk, which I recently signed on to deliver at Belfort France in November.
So I know that when we put our minds to things, set goals, plan, and then take action we can achieve amazing things, but in my recent malaise, I lost sight of that a little bit.
Today I’ve decided to change things, to retake control, to decide on the direction I want to go in, and the results that I want to achieve. I don’t want to live a life of regret thinking about what could have been.
This is why we need to plan.
This is why we need to set goals.
Because only then can we identify the shortest path to our goals, and start to take the actions to achieve them