The problem with the perfect plan

Car Talk

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I was listening to Car Talk on NPR.  Click and Clack were following up with a caller from an earlier show.  The caller wanted to transport a chicken coop via the highway on a snowmobile trailer.  Click and Clack told him it wouldn’t work.  They were right.

Chicken Coop guy’s perfect plan was changed in real time as they tried to implement it.  They managed to move the coop with the snowmobile trailer.  But not where they needed to move it.  The snowmobile trailer died in town after a valiant fight.  Chicken Coop guy looked up and saw a friend’s business.  His friend had a flat bed.   His friend put it on the flat bed to move it the rest of the way.

“How come you didn’t take our advice when we told you your plan was moronic?” asked Click (or Clack).   “Maybe it was because I spent 8 months working on the perfect plan.  I wasn’t willing to abandon it.” replied the Chicken Coop guy.

Chicken coop guy’s perfect plan failed.  8 months of perfect planning wasted.

To his credit Chicken coop guy knew where wanted to go.  He was able to make it happen even with his blown up plan.  He was stubborn about moving forward.  He was flexible about how to do it.  Hats of for persevering.

The problem with the perfect plan is that it does not exist.  No plan survives a collision with reality.  Knowing where you want to go is more important than knowing how you’ll get there.  If you’ve been planning you already know where you want to go.  Start with the plan you’ve got. You’ll have a better chance of finishing.

What are waiting to start until your plan is perfect?   You think you are planning.  You are procrastinating.  Stop planning.  Start producing.  Take the smallest action you can think of to move you forward.  Then take the next action.  Be stubborn about progress.  Be flexible about the path.  It is a fight to the finish.  Get started now.


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