Nobody Plans For Failure

30 November 2009, by A. Cedilla

“Failure is not an option.”
Assorted characters in countless action movies.

Q: “I’ve always tried to teach you two things. First, never let them see you bleed.”
James Bond: “And the second ?”
Q: “Always have an escape plan.”
The incomparable Desmond Llewelyn, as Q, in The World Is Not enough, 1999


Movies are an excellent source of memorable quotes, as well as providing bountiful fodder for the imagination.

Admit it, we imagine ourselves as heroes all the time. Saving the day, living the high life, triumphing over incredible odds…it’s great. And it can set us up for disappointment.

Imagination is vital in injecting passion and power into any life, but sometimes, relying too much on its positive side can leave you with too-high expectations, which just makes for a longer fall. (Insert timely slogan here: ” I’m not a pessimist, I’m a REALIST.”)

Think about it. In all your wildest imaginings and most earnest visualization exercises, did you every really see yourself failing? Of course you’d have back-ups and alternates up the wazoo, but did you ever hit the wall of Dammit-this-CAN’T-be-happening and just — stop?

If you have, congratulations. Scenarios like this force you to be a better planner. If you haven’t, you better take off the rose-colored eyeglasses so you can see the writing on the wall.

(We’re taking a moment to post another timely intervention here and recommend a 2 parter that can help: Building Buffers 1 and 2 focuses on easing stress and handling your time well. If you absolutely think you don’t have the time to read on, that’s when you have to. They’re short articles, and it won’t take more than a few minutes to read both. We swear.)

“No plan survives the enemy.”
Attributed to Carl Von Clausewitz and quoted by other various military personnel in history.

That’s why you need to practice your planning skills as well as your visualization and imagination exercises. That’s because you always have to have alternates, not just in case, but to guide you as things change.

Another 2 parter that may be of use : Focus and Planning 1 and 2 shows you the importance of keeping your goals in plain sight, and how not to stick to your plans. Kindly read these short articles to see the method behind our madness.

The current world-wide economic crisis is enough to show all of us that things change .Even the experts couldn’t have predicted that the changes in employment numbers and business practices would be like this. So it’s not enough to dream bright dreams and wait for things to get better. Hoping for the best is good, preparing to deal with the worst is better, and working to carry out your plans is best.

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