You Must Have a Plan

From The Success Essentials

“Plans are Nothing; Planning is Everything” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Proper planning is essential to success. Once you have clearly identified what your goals are it is important to carefully plan how you will achieve them. Many people skip this step in their excitement to pursue their goals. Failure to plan adequately however will lead to failure and disappointment. Repeated disappointment can suck your enthusiasm dry and lead you to abandon your goals.

It is true that no matter how carefully we lay out our plans reality will require us to change course during their implementation. Often the final path to success is quite different than we originally planned. This does not mean however that the planning process is not useful. To the contrary, the process of planning prepares you to take the steps necessary to realize your goals and aspirations.

An Example of How Planning Leads to Success

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the primary architect of the invasion of Europe during WWII said, “Plans are nothing, planning is everything”. Eisenhower and his allied staff spent thousands of hours planning every detail of the invasion of Europe during WWII. Their task was unimaginably formidable.

To understand how difficult this challenge was for Eisenhower and his staff it is necessary to review a few facts about that challenge. The Nazi war machine was at that time the most powerful and successful military force in the world. It had conquered nearly all of Western Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, much of the Mediterranean, much of North Africa and much of the Middle East. Its armies were threatening to conquer the Soviet Union and take control over its European and Asian territories.

The Germans had years to fortify their control over France, the Low Countries and much of the rest of Europe. Millions of mines had been laid on land and at sea. German U-boats had made the oceans treacherous. Its air force was formidable. And the Germans were pioneering new forms of war technology including radar, rockets, and were even working on the atom bomb.

The allies had a small window of time to strike at the German empire and win before it attained greater strength and hegemony.

While the allied forces were also formidable they had the giant task of assaulting the beaches of France and invading a land occupied by this powerful enemy. Furthermore, this had to be accomplished by an alliance of multiple armies, navies and air forces working together. Some of these nations had been adversaries among themselves. To make matters worse, many of the allied commanding officers possessed strong egos, wanted to claim credit for the victories to come, and distrusted one another.  This was the task that lay before Eisenhower and his staff.

You know the outcome of course, and you know that the war did not go exactly according to plan. Many things went wrong. Many plans had to be changed. However in the end the allies won and destroyed the Nazi war machine. Eisenhower understood the importance of planning not because he thought his plans would be followed in every detail, but because he understood that by careful planning his armies would be prepared to respond to what the enemy threw at them.

Planning alone did not win WWII. Planning alone does not win any war or achieve any success. It takes courage, resources, coordination and persistence. But planning is the crucial first step.

Learn more about how you can achieve more and realize your goals in my book, The Success Essentials.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.