You Don’t Have A Life Plan??

“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?

About John Fioravanti

Author, John Fioravanti writes non-fiction as well as fiction in the sci-fi genre. He's a retired secondary school educator and a lifelong learner. He considers himself a work in progress and welcomes the opinions and insights that others may have about his work. He prizes dialogue about meaningful topics, so please leave your thoughts!

14 thoughts on “You Don’t Have A Life Plan??

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 2, 2015 at 9:56pm

    Things in life don’t always go as planned (don’t I know it!)… I like the practice of Review, Reassess, and Revise to ensure my plan is a workable one where I can still get to my goals.

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      John Fioravanti

      September 3, 2015 at 11:32am

      Hi, Erin! I’m tickled that my courageous niece dropped by – and thank you for your insight!

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    Rebecca Reilly

    September 2, 2015 at 7:06pm

    Thanks for sharing, John! It’s empowering to be reminded we have control if we take the wheel! T

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      September 2, 2015 at 7:36pm

      That’s exactly the kind of man Jim Rohn was purported to be… empowering! Thanks for visiting, Rebecca, and sharing your thoughts!

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    Joy Lo-Bamijoko

    September 2, 2015 at 3:55pm

    If having a life plan is something similar to making a list of what I plan t do each day, then, I do make, not have a life plan. Other than that, life changes so much every day by factors beyond our control, that plans change too. I know what I want to become, but how I get there is simply by the grace of God. 🙂 Thank you John for sharing.

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      John Fioravanti

      September 2, 2015 at 4:53pm

      Thanks for your thoughts on this topic, Joy – and thank you for stopping by!

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    Isabel Pietri

    September 2, 2015 at 3:25pm

    Guilty as charged! I have been fortunate in that I dream big and some how they materialize. But I should have had a plan because something fell through the cracks. Thank you for sharing this inspirational piece. I will certainly firm a plan now. It’s never too late.

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      John Fioravanti

      September 2, 2015 at 3:43pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Isabel! Sounds like you’ve always had plans – even though they weren’t written. Even with a written plan, life takes us on twists and turns we cannot foresee. Thanks for sharing your insights!

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    Traci Sanders

    September 2, 2015 at 1:55pm

    Thanks for sharing this, John. He sounded like a person I would have enjoyed listening to as well. I am not really the type of person to sit down and write out a plan, though I don’t live by the seat of my pants either. I like to plan my days, weeks, and weekends but I haven’t written a 3-year, 5-year, 10-year plan as I’ve often heard it recommended. I do have goals in my head and to me, the most important thing I can do is take as many productive steps toward my goals each day. That’s my plan 🙂

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      John Fioravanti

      September 2, 2015 at 3:40pm

      I agree, Traci. I don’t think it is necessary to write down detailed, long-range plans. Having a plan of some kind is the important thing!

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    Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    September 2, 2015 at 1:42pm

    I like this information. Most of us really don’t plan. When I hit 30 I went into a depression because I had not achieved the dreams that I had. I never wrote them down. I just thought that they would happen. I was at a crossroad. What triggered action was sitting in a restaurant watching a senior citizen go behind people eating at a counter and picking up their leftovers. I was totally shocked at seeing that in the United States of America. I figured if this is happening to her, what will happen to me? That is when I started making a plan (in my head) to change my life and reach my goals. People came into my life to help me. Its so amazing!

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      John Fioravanti

      September 2, 2015 at 3:38pm

      Thanks for sharing this insight, Shirley. It is so true that often we need to be shocked into doing what we should.

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    Jan Hawke

    September 2, 2015 at 12:33pm

    Agree with the sentiments here, John – we’re all individuals and need to tailor accordingly, especially if we’re using someone else’s patterns 😉

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