“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
~ Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn (1930-2009) was an American author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. His success in rising from very modest beginnings was often the topic of discussion at his speaking engagements. He was a much sought-after speaker in the personal development industry.
So… what’s your plan? Do you have a life plan? I wonder how many people who aspire to improve their lot in life have actually given any thought to creating a life plan? I could continue with “20 Questions”, but I’m sure you get the idea. The first time I came across this quote it stopped me dead in my tracks. Oh my… life plan? I don’t have one of those! After using the quote in another forum, I resolved to revisit Jim Rohn’s words and write about them here.
I’m sorry I never got a chance to hear Mr. Rohn speak in person. His words don’t come off as a rant on paper, just a matter-of-fact assertion that if we don’t have our own life plan, then we’ll likely end up part of someone else’s plan. There’s nothing to stop any of us from waltzing through our daily activities without a thought about following our own life plan. As a matter of fact, I’m sure most people do just that! Have you ever wondered why the unsuccessful or moderately successful people vastly out number self-made success stories like Jim Rohn?
Hey! I’m too old to have a life plan… aren’t I? The first thought that strikes me is… Why? If I have a dream, and I do, then it stands to reason that it will not happen without a concerted effort. All the hard work in the world, if misdirected or unfocused, will bear little fruit. As a matter of fact, in our great desire to fulfill our dream, we may end up tying our wagon to someone else’s gravy train. That’s natural enough since another person may seem eminently worthy to lead the way… or are they?
Mr. Rhone admonished us to beware of following another person’s life plan. If we do that, we don’t have to strain our brain to come up with our own life plan! Hey! I like that… EASY!!! I know that I’m too often guilty of searching out and then using the proverbial easy button. It’s not only lazy, but it is counter-productive in the long range scheme of things. Counter-productive for us!
Rohn reminds us why it is self-defeating to become a part of another person’s life plan. You see, their life plan really has nothing of value for me. Why should it? It was never designed to benefit me – to help me reach my own dream. This doesn’t mean that I can’t work with or beside another person or group as I work toward my dream. But if I don’t have my own plan… I’ll likely end up part of theirs. Jim Rohn began in business working for others until his entrepreneurial spirit took control and he branched off on his own. That was his way, following his life plan. Not all of us are business people. Some of us are writers – even Indie writers. Of course, I wear both hats, but I’m a writer at heart.
I see a life plan as a work in progress. I’ve lived long enough to know that I can plan a series of sequential steps to reach my dream, and break those down into smaller important activities, and realize that life has a way of intruding and skewing some of these plans. What then? Review, Reassess, and Revise! Any life plan that I create will need to be amended from time to time as unexpected or unforeseen contingencies render parts of it unworkable. My life plan must be a living document – whether on paper, in digital format, or imprinted on my mind. I must be prepared to maintain and protect it from irrelevance.
In the final analysis, this is my life. I’m talking about my dream. I must assume control and not abdicate my responsibility because of doubt, fear or laziness. It is a decision I cannot take lightly if I believe in myself and my dream. I am convinced that at the core of Jim Rohn’s thinking about life plans, was his total commitment to help others establish and maintain control over their own lives. If I’m not in the driver’s seat… what will be my fate?