I heard it said that success is 80% mindset and 20% strategy. I talk a lot about mindset but today I want to talk about strategy.

Have you ever heard the quote on the left before? I have. Many times!

Maybe it was said to you as you prepared for an important presentation or project at work. Maybe you’ve imparted this piece of wisdom to a new recruit or colleague. Or maybe you’ve simply read the statement and thought; ‘yes, that’s obvious, it makes sense’ and left it at that.

I don’t believe anyone sets out planning to fail, but sometimes priorities (too many) or time (not enough) or self-discipline (lack of) results in our failing to plan which can make all the difference between an awesome victory and a tragic loss.

A Trapped Life

For me, a trapped life is when you waste your life following things that do not really matter and finding out the important stuff just late enough to finish life with sadness and not be able to do anything about it.

I have met a lot of successful/happy people, and tried to analyse the way they live their life, and I found that they have developed a life system where they only plan for the important stuff that could significantly affect their life and left the other parts unplanned.

Why Should You Plan?

Let me ask you a couple of questions…

  • When you look back to 5 years ago – where did you think you’d be right now?
  • Are you where you wanted to be now from 5 years ago?
  • Do you even know where you wanted to be 5 years ago?

This may be really hard to answer – as we change so much in 5 years.

Planning is about making sure you are in the driver’s seat with a clear vision of where it is you want to get to, why you want to go there, and how you’re going to turn your vision into reality.

Creating a 5 Year Plan

  • It helps to create focus on what your priorities are
  • It helps you say no to things that won’t help you reach your goals
  • It shows you where you need to change things, what’s possible etc…. so you don’t end up overwhelmed and unable to achieve it all
  • It gives you motivation to get where you want to go.
  • It helps you track each year whether you are on course, whether things need to change to another course – and you can take control properly
  • You’re more likely to achieve what you want if you are planning to get there…

Of course, there will always be things that crop up unexpectedly – that’s life – but on the whole, the major life changes and the smaller ones too, can be tracked and achieved with some forward planning.

What should you plan for and how to do it?

You need to have a plan for your career:

It does not have to be a strict one, but at least an outline so that you can challenge yourself. What things do you like and what things can you never see yourself doing?

You need to have a plan for your retirement:

Or sometimes bad luck that may leave you sick or injured or disabled and that is why you plan for an investment or savings.

You need to have a plan for your health care:

Like developing a routine where you get checked up periodically, and also hit the Gym regularly.

You need a plan for your essentials:

Things like if you would like to own a house or just rent one, and if you wanted a house, you need to see how can you make it happen and where is the best place for you….

You need to have a plan for your children, if you have any:

You will never be able to make choices for them or know what they will do in the future but at least you can start a college fund account or similar things.

Having a plan sounds hard and indicates pressure but it helps you stay oriented and focused, and also gives you enough margin to maneuver in life. Not having a plan sounds fun and also removes the pressure but it leaves you totally exposed and unsure. Why not take the best out of the two worlds.

A Final Thought

Find out what things you worry about and try to set a flexible yet fruitful plan for them with minimum pressure, and things that you could live and survive regardless how they turn out, leave them unplanned. Live the adventure without things to worry about.