We make plans all the time.
One of best parts of coaching is helping leaders, organizations, and people make and carry out plans.
Over the years, I have noticed two distinct types of plans.
Plan type one is the safe bet. Rooted in “reality” this plan type is achievable with a little stretch, but when you dig this plan is the result of future fears, doubts, and concerns.
“You gotta be careful, we are not sure what things will be like next year. What if the business takes a downturn? What if this doesn’t work?”
I nicknamed Plan type one, the Hopeless Plan.
The Hopeless Plan starts with a laundry list of what can go wrong and assumes that all prior time not completely focused on this direction has been a complete waste of time, and there may not be enough time to try anything new or risky.
“I am too old, and should have started this a long time ago if I really wanted to do this…”
The Hopeless Plan acts like a constricting funnel of all good, cool, and creative ideas, and severely limits what seems possible.
But we have to give The Hopeless Plan a little credit since it does result in small achievements or progress.
But there is another plan type.
Plan type two acknowledges the present reality, but does not allow the same limitation.
I nicknamed plan type two: A Hope-Filled Plan.
A Hope-Filled Plan acts like an amplifier taking the history, the experience, and current resources, combining them into a vision of the future that seems larger, possible, and exciting.
A Hope-Filled Plan is risky, interesting, and requires you to keep moving.
A Hope-Filled Plan allows you to dream and see beyond the present circumstances.
Recent examples of A Hope-Filled Plan include:
- A mid 40’s attorney who dreamed of being a foreign service officer taking the leap to give up a successful practice for uncertainty and overseas travel.
- A late 30’s language professor who suddenly realized they wanted to become a doctor and is starting med-school.
- A person in their 50’s packing up and moving to a new city, without a job or a home.
- A person too old to get back into the military traversing the process and waivers to restart a career they miss and enjoyed in their youth.
- A 70-year-old builder of organizations taking the lead to build another one (ironically in the same area that was intended to be a retirement destination).
Plans are good.
Plans help you achieve your goals.
But choose your plan type carefully.
A Hope-Filled Plan may be what you really need and deserve.