In the last post, I discussed the concept of maintaining stillness and being open to moving to a response instead of a reaction. I maintain that there are three distinct parts to overcoming an adverse event. The first is stillness. The second that we will discuss today is planning.
A plan is simply organized direction. It involves taking information that you have gathered and applying it to a goal. Some plans are very complex while others remain very simple or basic. Each type has its merits.
A complex plan often has several steps to address many contingencies or possible factors that influence outcome. Most well constructed plans of the complex variety additionally contain several redundant steps to account for potential missteps or failures to ensure overall success. Often, complex plans also seek to address the largest available concern that faces an individual. Downfalls or problems with complex plans can include increased time necessary to develop a plan, or a need to accomplish several steps initially to begin to see plan outcomes.
A simple plan is usually a few steps that focus on the most immediate problem or concern facing an individual. Simple plans can be quicker to implement and plan, and these plans can often show results with less steps being necessary to complete which is unlike complex plans. However, simple plans often are not as effective with larger more intricate problems and have less safeguards concerning failed procedural steps on comparison to complex plans.
Looking past the differences between simple and complex plans, another concern that must be addressed is the idea of a rigid plan versus a flexible plan. A rigid plan seeks to have concrete and set benchmarks to complete whereas flexible plans look steps to complete more as signposts directing the individual to the next task to complete. Both types of plans can be successful, yet it is important to note the more rigid a plan, the less leeway for variance. More complex plans that employ rigid frameworks often plan more backup steps or plans to deal with unattained procedural steps. Typically, more simple plans are flexible in the involved steps to deal with unexpected changes or errors.
Looking the organic nature of life and stress, I think about planning comparisons to the concept of threat. Simple plans in life should be utilized to address an immediate action necessary situation. Due to speed of implementation, these interventions are suited to immediate response deadlines. Complex plans are better suited to dealing with potential unseen threats. The complex plans are hatched in the back of our minds in case they become needed in a future situation.
Going with the martial arts comparison again, to adequately address a threat, an immediate problem with changing variables would better thwarted by a flexible approach to resolving the situation. Rigid steps could be applied to complex plans to improve consistent success with an intervention. One could also argue a flexible approach to complex plans to adapt to unexpected variables. With each type of plan, I am sure arguments could be made for either rigid or flexible plans.
In life or combat, even the best plans can fall apart. One last thought to consider is the idea that a plan is never completely exhaustive in preparing for a situation. A given situation could be highly variable and a plan may change with it. A good plan can be more thought of as a good outline. A good plan realizes that it can never list all things, but it can prepare someone to address most potential unexpected circumstances.
Thank you for reading! I appreciate the comments that I have been getting. Next time I post, I will review the third part of decision making regarding the concept of hesitation.
The M.A.D. Dad
About the author
I call myself the M.A.D. Dad. M.A.D. stands for Martial Arts Direction. I want to help others battle the forces that threaten our peace with lessons that I have been blessed to discover through my experiences in both Martial Arts and Life.