I have always believed that life is a balance. It is a balance of work and pleasure, chocolate and vegetables, reality and fantasy. Somewhere between all of them is a balance and something that fits for each one of us. I know that I can indulge in those two chocolates a day that I so love, but I need to walk my four miles at least three times a week to keep wearing the same jeans! I also need to commit a number of hours per week to reading and staying current in my field in order to remain productive with my clients. It is a balance that does not occur automatically, but rather with a plan.
Last week I wrote about the NFL athletes who were reduced to financial ruin because they did not have a plan. There had not been a plan as they entered college, and there had not been a plan as they proceeded through their career. They are not unlike the vast majority of the population. No goals, no plan.
But highly successful people know that their success did not occur without a plan. A written document that included goals and strategies for achieving those goals. Although there is not a documented source, I love the quote, “Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.”
I know people who dream of success, have great aspirations, but never achieve what they are looking for in their work or life. They work hard, but they fail to meet their dreams because they don’t have a plan. I also know that there are people who achieve greatness in spite of what others believe because they DO have a plan.
Can you imagine any researcher striking out in a lab to develop a new technology and not having a plan? Can you imagine Ray Kroc without a business plan to launch his concept of franchising McDonalds?
Do you have a plan? Do you have a plan that is loosely developed and hanging out there on a cloud or is it a real plan? Has it been committed to paper?
In a response to last week’s blog, a friend and colleague sent an email telling me about how she works with middle school students to write their “Blueprint.” The effort developed out of a lesson that included the reading of Dr. Martin Luther King’s, “Life’s Blueprint” speech. How wonderful that those students should have the advantage of an educator who has the foresight to teach and guide them in the importance of creating a plan! How unfortunate to think that statistically, only 3% of those students will continue in life’s journey with the habit of continuously reflecting and rewriting their plan in an effort to achieve their goals. Will you be one of the 3%? Have you created your plan? That Nike slogan, “Just Do It” is vital when it comes to committing to writing a plan.