A CANAL -PANAMA!
Leigh Mercer published his well know palindrome “A man, a plan, a canal – Panama!” in the November 13th 1948 issue of Notes and Queries, a long running scholarly journal of English language. A palindrome is a word, phrase, or sequence of letters that reads the same in either direction. I’m using it here as a mnemonic device to help emphasize the importance of having a PLAN.
The Panama Canal is one of the seven wonders of the modern world. It is a series of locks and dams which connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via a 48 mile artificial waterway and it first opened in 1914 after over a decade of construction. The first Chief Engineer of the project was John Stevens who devised the lock system.
The point I’m trying to make is, without the construction blueprints (or PLANS) the canal could never have been built.
In order to be successful in life at any particular task, you must have some sort of PLAN laying out the steps you need to follow in order to succeed. Every Self Improvement book ever published can all be described as a series of PLANS to help you achieve a particular goal. The problem is, with any advice given the only person who can make you follow the PLAN is YOU! If you fail to heed wise council, YOU are the only one to blame. You will reap what you sow.
In his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey states
“It is our willing permission, our consent to what happens to us, that hurts us far more than what happened to us in the first place.”
The first two ‘habits’ are:
- Be proactive -i.e. focus on things we can do something about.
- Begin with the end in mind, or in other words, have a PLAN.
Every successful person who has ever achieved a major goal did so by having a PLAN. It goes without saying that if you fail to PLAN, you can PLAN to fail.
- A diet is an eating PLAN
- A budget is a spending PLAN
- The 52 Week Challenge is a savings PLAN
- A 401k or its federal equivalent the TSP are retirement PLANS
Motivational expert Brian Tracy once said that
“Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.”
This goes back to last week’s blog post G.I.G.O. where I addressed the importance of a positive mindset. A PLAN by itself without you believing in it, or acting upon it, is useless. Suppose you brought a book on personal finance, read it and never used any of the strategies within. Would you expect to be a financial success?
Whatever you are PLANNING to do in life, you must have a clear vision, and you must act upon it. If you can conceive it, and you can believe it, than you can achieve it! I wish you success and happiness!