My favorite of the secrets was Paul Polaks tenth secret: work to practical, three-year plans. I am a big fan of plans. Plans are the intermediate step between an idea and reality, or between the present and the future. Plans are in my opinion where your idea gets life and substance. It is where you extrapolate what you want to have happen into what you need to do to get there. With a good enough plan almost anyone can do almost anything I think.
I also like what Paul says a plan needs: to be practical and on a three year time frame. Of course a plan needs to be practical. It is almost like a fractal, each step of a plan becoming more specific and addressing more contingencies and situations. It really feels to me like a good plan should almost be like an exercise in imagining every part of what you are going to do before you do it. And then you can check your idea to make sure that you have properly a****ed your needs and your resources. You can make sure that when you are actually putting the plan into action you don't get ahead of yourself, that you can finish everything on time without sacrificing because you are at the last minute, and that you don't come up against logistical difficulties. The three year time frame is good too because it keeps things practical and it breaks up a really ambitious project into managable chunks that hopefully will keep you enthusiastic and not demoralized.
I am mad about planning in my own life, but it is surprising how often I neglect to do it, or do it properly. Then again, I haven't had any long term goals in my life for a while. I feel that most of the things I am proud of accomplishing have been done through good planning. My plan is like a prophesy which allows me to have faith in the future.
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