Plans that are blown aside by every shift of the wind

Dilbert once said that strategic planning is hallucinating about the future and then something different happens.

It’s like work but without the satisfaction of completing anything.

You have meetings and talk about the company’s strategy in vague, emotional terms. And then you sit in a room with inadequate data until the illusion of knowledge is attained.

Anyone who’s ever sat on a board of directors can relate to this characterization.

It’s not that strategic planning is never useful. Having some kind of vision does serve some purpose.

But when it comes to planning, the process can be time consuming to complete, the content can become divorced from reality, and the result can be challenging to implement.

And to what end? To make us feel important and alive? To preserve the illusion of knowledge?

And yet, that’s pretty much how planning breaks down in most areas of life.

Out of our fundamental fear of losing control, we stamp our foot down and made demands of the universe, without a care for what it has in store for us. And the moment anything upsets our carefully orchestrated plot, which it almost always does, we shake our fists at the heavens and demand a recount.

Because the world didn’t give us exactly what we wanted.

The other night a woman sitting at the table next to me asked her date.

Do you think you’ll still be working there at age sixty?

And my thought was, wow, twenty years from now? What about twenty minutes from now? Do we need another hallucination about the future to take us away from the present moment? How exactly are we supposed to relax and watch the glorious tapestry of life unfold when we have such rigid expectations of the universe?

Fact is, there is no such thing as any event going to plan. Nor is there any event going contrary to plan.

There is only what happens. There is no how things should be, there is only what is.

And so, if we can elect to believe there is wisdom in the unfolding of events exactly as they are, and be willing to cooperate with that unfolding, then maybe we wouldn’t be so stressed all the time.

Put it this way.

All of our grandest plans can be undone in less than a minute. Instead of making ourselves fearful by being a planner, let’s make ourselves joyful by being present.

Because the amount of work is the same.

May as well go with the one least likely to cause a stress related illness. 

Which situation could you allow to unfold more gently?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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