Planning

Planning is that thing that will help you stay on course in fulfilling your dreams and leading the life you’ve always wanted. We are more often than not oscillating between getting totally absorbed in dreaming great things for us and then getting totally distracted by everything else in our life to the point that we forget we ever had such big dreams. And then we remember, and we are bedazzled: how did this happen? And then we feel guilty, and we sink further in short-lived rewards to help us cope with the guilt. Eventually, we find the resources to dream big again but we fail to prepare to meet those dreams. We fail to plan.

Whether you are planning for a vacation, for your career, for your life or for your business, the same rules apply. Planning now will always pay off later. Planning now means more time to enjoy later; actually, planning means taking a break, a smart one. It’s like in that famous Dale Carnegie’s story he would often tell on his seminars:

“Two men were chopping wood together. One worked constantly, breaking only for a quick lunch. The other man took frequent breaks throughout the day. By day’s end, the first man was stunned to see that the second had cut much more wood.

Every time I looked, you seemed to be resting. But you’ve accomplished more than I have. How did you do it?
The second man replied, Yeah, but didn’t you notice that while I was sitting down, I was sharpening my axe?”

Ignoring planning is like ignoring to sharpen your axe. Working with an axe that is not sharpened means a lot more time spent on completing tasks. You need your axe to be sharp in order to be efficient. It’s the best thing you can do to help yourself. Stephen Covey, the author of the popular “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” used to refer to planning as “sharpening the axe.” Time is an investment – just like with money, to have some you have to invest some. By not planning you become the target of the things that can go wrong or not as desired. You will simply react to the events occurring in your life but you will not be their manifestor.