We’ve all heard the quote, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” We’ve all heard it because: 1) it’s very true and 2) a very, very famous person said it. According to the internet, that famous person was Benjamin Franklin. Or Alan Lakein. Or George Carlin, Maya Angelou, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, or possibly even Gandalf. (Believe me, the internet is the last place in the world to look for accurate quote attributions.)
As great as this quote is, though, there are many other planning-related quotes to choose from, if that’s your thing.
“Always have a plan, unless you’re too busy. Then, like, whatever.”
— Oprah Winfrey
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up on the third floor. Dead.”
— Albus Dumbledore
“You know why I’m so witty? Cuz that was the plan, man!”
— Mark Twain
“I love it when a plan comes together.”
— Margaret Thatcher
You know, I should probably create images for those quotes and upload them to Tumblr. Because as Ernest Hemingway famously quipped, “Once a quote has been wrongly attributed and uploaded to the internet, it becomes true forever and ever.”
All kidding aside, I do have one real quote that I do find appropriate today:
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Take it from the man who brought us Le Petit Prince: you gotta have a plan. And, as it just so happens, a plan is exactly what I wanted to share with you today.
This blogger recently took a good hard look at his last ten years. Back when he turned
forty, he’d just wrapped up some old projects and looked forward with renewed hope at what the next ten years would bring. “I’m going to do it. After thirteen years of thinking about it, I’m really going to do it.”
But you know where this blogger went wrong? He never came up with a plan. Because who needs a plan? There’s plenty of time to just wing it, right?
Wrong. There’s no better way to waste time than plowing forward blindly.
So this time, this blogger’s got a plan. He’s finally thinking clearly. “I’m going to do it,” he says. “After twenty-three years of thinking about it, I’m really going to do it.”
Spring 2016: This blogger finishes the move to the new house. There’s just no way around this and he has to realistically budget plenty of time for it.
September 2016: This blogger publishes his “cancer book.” Yep, for real.
April 2017: Right on the heels of that, he publishes Ronald. True, this isn’t a lot of time from the end of the last book. But that’s okay because: 1) he’s already written the basic storyline and 2) it’s only going to be a novella, if not shorter.
December 2017: This blogger finishes Elsewhither, the first book of the Underhaven Trilogy.
January 2020: The second book of the Underhaven Trilogy.
February 2023: The third book of the trilogy.
January 2026: This blogger writes another blog post, “How None My Plans Worked Out The Way I Thought They Would.”
But that’s okay. Because by then I’ll have a new plan. “I’m going to do it,” I’ll say. “After thirty-three years of thinking about it, I’m really going to do it!”