by Dave Miller
Work sucks. Don’t tell me what to do me. I’m Lazy. These are a few of the excuses I unconsciously use to negate my desires to improve. I know plans are important, they work, and I’m a better person through them, yet I find excuses.
As I think through my Master Plan (for part one click here) I realize I want the result, but not the work. Classic ambivalence. Why is this? What is going on inside?
Many times the desire to plan is squashed by opposing emotions. Summarized here are a few emotions that love obliterating a plan.
- Disciplinary fears – The love to be wild and free. Uninhibited. We want to be our own man. By making a plan we feel as if our spirit would be tamed with a schedule. Little do we look at the exuberance created by having a well thought out goal in mind.
- Work sucks – We are stuck in a dead-end job. The desire to excel is lacking when you’re in a job you don’t really enjoy.
- Nothing is easier to do than something - Since The Fall we are looking for the easy way out. The snooze button allows us to push-off the inevitable a little longer. One must work against one’s sinful nature to overcome the sin of laziness.
- Feelings – We don’t feel like it. Today’s society wants to base life on how they feel. Everyone is focusing on “How do I feel about that.” If I lived on feelings I would not have gotten out of bed this morning.
- Inadequate plan – Planning is good but I must also conquer the over-planning syndrome. Action is the key.
A task list helps you triumph over these emotions that are hindering you. Goals help you to know why the tasks on your to-do list exist. Dreams are in a sense goals without a plan.
“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
The key is to find the proper balance between planning, preparing and action. In too many cases the emphasis is placed on the planning and preparing stages while forgoing the action. Michael Masterson summarized it well from his book “Ready, Fire, Aim”.
The idea, in a nutshell, is this:
- Action is the most important thing. Careers and projects are killed much more often by the reluctance to act than by acting too soon.
- Still, some planning and preparation is helpful.
- Get it roughly right as soon as you can, and then start. You can work out the kinks later.
Thus, Ready, Fire, Aim.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt