“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.”
(The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.)
“The poem denotes the narrator of the poem is plowing his field when he cuts through a mouse nest. The poet shows regret and apologizes to the mouse before he goes on a tangent which reveals the deeper meaning of the poem. The connotation is that even when you mean no harm and have pure intentions, you can destroy somebody else’s well laid plans.”
Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse”
“You’re little but you’re big.”
Pretty Little Liars
What do I mean by that?
More often than not, most of us usually have no, or very little, control over our lot in Life.
More often than not, most of us are little people doing little things in the big scheme of everything that is happening.
More often than not, most big things that go awry were little things when viewing in the rear view mirror. In other words. We do little things all the frickin’ time that ultimately have a bigger impact than we could ever imagine assuming we were even paying attention to the little thing we did.
And, yet, despite all of that we are planning creatures.
We plan our weekends, vacations, and lives. We plan little, medium and big things.
Some of us plan every detail and polish each detail to perfection. Some of us decide on a plan that involves not having any plan. At either end of that spectrum we are planning our time so that we can get the most out of it.
On weekends we plan our time that we might do what we want to do and get done what must get done.
On vacation we plan to see new things and we actually plan relaxation <which seems kind of crazy>.
On life we plan where we will be in five years what our career path should be and what we plan our personal live to look like.
Shit. We even plan our spontaneity.
Suffice it to say.
And for young people?
Everyone really wants to know what your plan is. What do you want to do with your life <and all the steps in your plan leading up to whatever that ‘do’ is>? These are all big questions and it sounds quite nice to have big answers and a nice big neat plan.
Well. The unfortunate Life truth is that for all of our planning nothing is more certain than the fact that something will go wrong and ‘the plan’ is no longer a viable plan.
Even worse? More often than not some little unplanned thing occurs and whole big plan goes awry.
The main issue in big plans and big planning is the fact that little things are ever changing. And, worse, they are changing all the while oblivious to the neat orderly plan you had in place.
Now. Even with all this change I imagine you have a choice — plow through the change with an unchanging plan or let your neat plan take on some less neat fluidity.
Which begs the question, if big plans cannot be solid because of all the little things changing … then what use is a plan?
Well. Plans and planning do matter.
And big plans, done well, do matter.
And “done well” can be defined as things change so does the plan <that is if you do your big planning right>.
In fact as things change, well, other plans are formed. To be a good planner I guess you have to pay attention to how things are changing and then adapt the plan to fit the situation.
Boy. That sure does sound like a lot of work making a plan only to change it to another plan.
• If anything can go wrong, it will
• If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong
• If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway
Anyway. This is not an indictment against big plans and big planning.
In fact I would suggest that you know you are a big planner <as in one effective at creating Big plans> if all the little things that go wrong do not make your big plan go awry they simply make you adapt while maintaining progress toward the ultimate objectives.
In the end. Remember. Little things can make big plans go awry. Shit. Little things can make anything go awry. Unfortunately for most of us schmucks more often than not what we think is little is actually big and what we see as big is usually little. And maybe, just maybe, that is why 99% of plans go awry. Ponder that.