Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
Have you ever noticed how people, especially our younger generations, tend to rush into projects with all their energy and ideas, only to have mixed results in the end? Do you watch these young whippersnappers with a shake of your head and a roll of your eyes, knowing that you have a much better understanding of how to do the job? How often do you finish a project and think that it was good, but next time will be so much better now that you know this or that? What you are seeing is the various manifestations of the need for a good solid plan.
It is within our nature to automatically see our own way as the best way.
The Power of Youth
Young people want action, and they have the energy and spirit to rise up and make the changes. Their strength is in their enthusiasm. When they hit a roadblock or even a wall, they can turn it up a notch and push harder to break through. Often, this leads them to success in their goal, but sometimes it takes longer or is more work than expected.
In my youth, I was like this. I charged into any situation I faced without a plan of action. I didn't need one. I decided how to do things as I stepped forward. I accomplished what I wanted, even if I came out bruised and broken, and I considered myself successful for it.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
As I matured, so did the projects I tackled. At first, I simply picked up the pace. A harder job meant harder work, but I could still get things done. Soon though I realized that my body would no longer allow me to simply work harder. I began to see that I had to work smarter, and with my growing wisdom, I knew how to do that.
In our middle-ages, we have a better understanding of the bigger picture. We don't want to have to go back and clean up the mess made on our first path. We learn to move a little more slowly and carefully. Experience has shown us that taking a little more time in the beginning can lead to much less time wasted in the end.
The Wisdom of the Ages
Naturally, it is the elders who have the greatest bank of experience and hindsight. Unfortunately, we often wave them aside, marking their ideas as outdated. Technology is different now. Methods have changed. We know more now than you did then. Do these thoughts sound familiar? What the elders understand, and we often don't is that better planning in the beginning could have made a bigger, longer lasting impact on the changes that they made.
The truth of the matter is that all age groups and all walks of life have common goals. It is up to each of us, young and old, to come together to plan and achieve these goals. We need the power of the youth, with their new ideas and their energy. It is also important to know how to work smarter rather than harder. The hindsight and wisdom of the elders will show us how to ensure that our results are good and lasting.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
Winging it may lead to small successes, but it will not create the strong solid foundations that will withstand the test of time. We need a good solid plan, created with the cooperation of everyone.
As I look forward, I know that I will only get older. We cannot go backwards. I now see that planning is key. Do I wish that I would always have the energy and spirit to charge ahead? Absolutely! But I know that I cannot. Working with Habitat has shown me that it takes everyone, young and old, to make it all work. We need the energy of youth, the larger perspective of middle-age, and the wisdom of age.
The difference between success and failure is a great plan, and behind every great plan is a great team. We at Habitat for Humanity want a great team. Our goal is to put God's love into action, to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. I can't do it alone. We can't do it alone. It takes everyone moving together, working together, relying on each other's strengths. Success comes when everyone is working in unity toward that common goal.