I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” — Jimmy Dean, American actor
It’s said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. And that is true. But it’s also true that those who rigidly stick to their plans almost always fail.
Because during those preliminary stages, no matter how much forethought and research you put into crafting the perfect plan, there is still so much you cannot possibly prepare for, so much you cannot possibly know ahead of time. Even when you can accurately predict what should happen, there’s still no guarantee that it will.
That’s because you don’t live in isolation. You are part of a world of people with unique personalities and individual interests, both of which will often run contrary to your own.
Now, when the wind changes direction and starts to move against you, you have three choices.
- Give up and go home.
- Try to change the direction of the wind until it again suits your plan.
- Adjust your plan to make maximum use of the new direction of the wind.
Which do you think is the only chance you have to succeed?
Once you accept that circumstances will change and that your plan must change with them, you will best be positioned to take advantage of those changes so that the presence of the unpredictable becomes the greatest predictor of your success.