Sticking to a Plan
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It is a good step to be deliberate enough to make a plan for some undertaking or enterprise, but I have noticed how that doing so is only half the battle. It may be an excellent plan and an appropriate one but there remains then the challenge of actually implementing it. Because in the heat of the battle of everyday life there are all kinds of forces that seem designed and determined to take us out of our plans. The plan is inclined to vanish in the heat and pressure of the moment just when it is most needed. Take basketball for example. A player coach concocts a plan for the team to pass three times before shooting (unless they have an easy basket on a fast break or something which is the exception and not the rule). But once the team is out on the floor and the game is in progress the coach finds that he himself is among the first to forget the plan and do what comes most natural and habitual, to pursue the course which is the most familiar, which often amounts to merely freelancing. Then the team calls a time-out and reiterates its plan only to go back onto the court and ignore it again. After a while in this kind of pattern the team no longer takes its own plan seriously, they still discuss it at the right times, they say the right things, but deep down they don't believe themselves or that it will ever happen. They've gradually assumed a kind of dual life: plan one thing but execute another. This form of collective schizophrenia, this corporate blanking out of the mind prevents a team or group or organization from ever finding out if their plan would work or from making the needed modifications to make it work when it is deficient somehow. What is needed is the intentional discipline of applying those practices within the plan (not doing what you're most inclined to do and doing instead what you feel least inclined to do) that feel awkward or unnatural at first until those practices in their turn then become the habitual ones.
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