false sense of security called plan
Recently I have had a phone conversation with my father in which he has asked: “so what is your plan going forward?”. After many years of planning, trying to have everything under great control I have answered “I have no plan, only the direction”. For a moment there was a silence on the other end of the line. Obviously, he was confused and maybe a bit disappointed. He mumbled, in a sincere and warm way “you can’t be my son” and laughed a bit. In that mumbled laugh you could have felt a mixed bag of emotions from wonder worry to confusion. You know after years of planning, working on multiple projects, managing many people I have realized that “the plan” is a myth. Not that planning and having a plan is bad, but I think the whole planning paradigm needs a bit of reframing. I believe that rather than to have a plan, we should aim at the direction and compounded experience. Because the direction is about the journey and in many ways we have no way of predicting what we will encounter along the journey (hello 2020). Only compounding experience counts in that sense. On the other hand, what plan actually does is creating a false sense of security. It fortifies our ego. Ego is secure, we must be secure and we must feel good about ourselves. Everything is under control. Right? In almost all projects I have encountered people with plans, myself included. I used to be the ambassador of plans, the pope of plans only to see how most of them turn a completely different way than everyone has thought. I believe the only way how to change this thinking paradigm, how to reframe it is to start at an unusual place. At our own insecurity. At our own ego. Because if we can collectively clean the mess there, we can all stop lying to each other that plans will make us more secure, more in control, and happier. And no, I am not talking that we should give up on plans on how to build bridges, airplanes, or recipes to bake bread. These are not plans in my opinion but recipes of the known. Something that we have done a million times already in the past. I am talking about the unknown. Because it is exactly the plans of what yet have not been build, journeys that not yet have been walked that are about the direction rather than about a false sense of security called plan.