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Think before you start: The Power of Preplanning in 4 Simple Steps



A young man intensely focused on his laptop while seated on an airplane, bathed in the warm glow of sunset light streaming through the windows. This scene embodies the principle 'Think before you start,' as he carefully plans and contemplates his work during the flight.
Plan Ahead: The Power of Preplanning in 4 Easy Steps

Have you ever heard the saying “measure twice, cut once”? Well, that’s what Think Before You Start: The Power of Preplanning is all about. In our fast-paced world, we often rush into things without taking a moment to consider our steps. But what if I told you that a little pause for thought could make a huge difference?

That’s the magic of preplanning! It’s like drawing a map before setting off on an adventure. This article, “Think Before You Start: The Power of Preplanning,” is here to show you how taking a moment to think things through can make your life easier, whether you’re tackling a school project, planning a party, or even starting a new job. So, let’s dive in and discover how thinking ahead can go a long way!

One night, a twin-engine aircraft soared high above the expanse of New Jersey, carrying an unusual mix of passengers. Among them were the pilot, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, the Dalai Lama, and a free-spirited hippie.

Chaos erupted as an oxygen generator in the luggage compartment exploded, filling the cabin with thick smoke. Confused, the cockpit door swung open, and the pilot rushed in.

“Gentlemen,” he solemnly addressed the group, “I have good and bad news. The bad news is that we’re headed for a crash landing in New Jersey. The good news is that we have four parachutes, and I’m taking one.”

The pilot seized a parachute and leaped from the aircraft, leaving the remaining four occupants to face their fate.

In a heartbeat, Michael Jordan sprang into action. “As the world’s greatest athlete,” he declared, “I believe I should have a parachute.” Without hesitation, he seized one and followed the pilot’s lead, disappearing into the night.

Bill Gates, ever pragmatic, rose to his feet next. “As the world’s smartest man,” he asserted, “it only makes sense for me to take a parachute as well.” With a decisive grab, he secured his fate and joined the others in their airborne escape.

Left behind, the Dalai Lama and the hippie exchanged a knowing glance. After a moment of contemplation, the Dalai Lama spoke softly.

“My dear friend,” he addressed the hippie, “I have lived a life filled with contentment and enlightenment. You, however, still have much ahead of you. Take a parachute, and I shall face this end with peace.”

With a gentle smile, the hippie reassured him. “Don’t worry,” he chuckled, “the world’s smartest man just took off with my backpack.” And with that, they embraced their destiny together as the aircraft hurtled towards the ground below.


What is the moral of the story?

There are three:

Think before you start.

We are often very focused on taking action. We want quick results and don’t want to think too long about why we are doing something. We make a plan and get started right away.

We keep doing this until, at a certain point, we ask ourselves: ‘What are we doing it all for? Why did I ever start this? Do I still like it? Will this still give me the result I want?’

Yet those are the questions at stake. Taking action without understanding what you want and why is like jumping without a parachute: you will end up somewhere, but not in the way you planned.

Are you still on the way to your goals?

See if all those things you do daily are getting you where you want to be, whether you are still on your way to your goals or have long since taken a turn.

Every day, you are pushed a little off course by the people around you, too little time, and other priorities. That doesn’t matter for a day or a week. But for a year.

Suppose you draw two parallel lines on paper. One line is your wish, and the other is reality. Now, the lines are still next to each other, but if you have a little difference between wish and reality every day in the coming year, in a year, the lines will be one kilometre apart. A big difference!

Think before you start…and while at it, think: Is this what I want?

Success without risk is not possible.

To live is to take risks. We don’t know if we will always land softly, but one thing is certain: if you don’t take risks, nothing will happen.

You will only be able to achieve your goals if something happens.

Achieving success often demands venturing beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone, where familiarity and security reign. However, this journey into uncharted territory can stir up unease and uncertainty, leading many to tread cautiously. The inclination to avoid risk while pursuing our objectives is natural.

To succeed, we must step outside our comfort zone—where we feel safe. This sometimes causes tension, so we are careful about it. We prefer to achieve our goals without taking any risks.

But when you look back at your most significant victories, you’ll see they were also your greatest challenges. Your greatest triumphs came after your most important problems.

On your way to success, you will inevitably make mistakes. No one is successful and has never made mistakes. Making mistakes is part of success. How else did you learn to read? Learn to drive? Have you learned anything at all?

If you make mistakes, you get results. If you learn from that result and adjust your approach, you will get a better result and ultimately succeed. You only fail when you give up. If you don’t give up and learn from your mistakes, you will be successful in the long run!

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

When you take risks, miracles happen.

Life is also a free fall. What’s in your backpack?

Even though life means taking risks, you can ensure you have skills in your backpack to help you deal with them.

What should be in your essential survival kit?

  1. Self-confidence: believe in your worth and skills.

Self-confidence is the cornerstone of personal empowerment, rooted in a steadfast belief in one’s worth and capabilities. It encompasses a profound sense of self-assurance and trust in one’s abilities to navigate life’s challenges and pursue aspirations with resilience and determination.

 Believing in your worth is about recognizing and embracing your unique qualities, strengths, and achievements. It involves acknowledging your inherent value as an individual, independent of external validation or comparison to others. Self-worth is cultivated through self-compassion, self-acceptance, and nurturing a positive self-image.

 Moreover, self-confidence entails trusting your skills and competencies to accomplish goals and overcome obstacles. It involves setting realistic expectations, leveraging your strengths, and continuously honing your abilities through learning and experience. Confidence in your capabilities empowers you to take on new challenges, embrace growth opportunities, and persevere in the face of setbacks.

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”   Mark Twain

 Building self-confidence requires intentional effort and self-reflection. It involves challenging self-limiting beliefs, reframing negative self-talk, and celebrating achievements, no matter how small. Cultivating a supportive environment, seeking feedback from trusted mentors, and surrounding yourself with positive influences can bolster self-confidence.

 Ultimately, self-confidence is a guiding force, propelling you forward on your journey of self-discovery and personal growth. With unwavering belief in your worth and skills, you possess the resilience and determination to overcome adversity, seize opportunities, and realize your fullest potential in all aspects of life.

     2. Perseverance: the ability to deal with disappointments.

Perseverance is the unwavering commitment and resilience to strive toward your goals despite setbacks, challenges, and disappointments. It is the ability to maintain determination and resolve despite obstacles or failures and persistently pursue your aspirations with resilience and optimism.

 Dealing with disappointments is an integral aspect of perseverance. Inevitably, you will encounter setbacks, failures, and frustration on the path to achieving your goals. Whether it’s a rejection, a setback in a project, or a personal disappointment, perseverance empowers you to navigate these challenges with resilience and determination.

 The essence of perseverance lies in how you respond to disappointments. Instead of letting setbacks deter or discourage you, perseverance enables you to view them as opportunities for growth and learning. It involves acknowledging your emotions, processing the disappointment, and channelling that energy into constructive action.

 “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”  – Walter Elliot

 Perseverance encourages you to adopt a growth mindset, recognizing that setbacks are not indicative of personal failure but stepping stones toward success. It fosters resilience by teaching you to bounce back from disappointments, adapt to unforeseen circumstances, and keep moving forward despite adversity.

 Moreover, perseverance cultivates resilience in the face of disappointments by instilling a sense of determination and grit. It fuels your motivation to overcome obstacles, push through challenges, and stay focused on your long-term goals, even when the journey becomes arduous.

 Developing perseverance requires patience, self-discipline, and a willingness to embrace discomfort. It involves setting realistic expectations, maintaining a positive attitude, and staying committed to your goals, even when progress seems slow or uncertain.

 Ultimately, perseverance is a mindset and a skill that can be honed and strengthened over time. By embracing disappointments as opportunities for growth, cultivating resilience in the face of adversity, and staying steadfast in your pursuit of goals, you harness the power of perseverance to achieve success and fulfillment in life.


3.  A clear goal: what do you want to achieve?

A clear goal is essential for providing direction, focus, and purpose. It is a guiding beacon, helping you navigate life’s complexities and make informed decisions aligned with your aspirations and values. A clear goal articulates your goal, providing a roadmap for personal and professional growth.

 Defining your goal begins with introspection and self-reflection. It involves identifying your passions, values, and priorities and envisioning your desired future. Your goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), allowing for clarity and accountability in your pursuit.

 Once you’ve established your goal, it becomes a source of motivation and inspiration, driving you to take action and overcome obstacles. It provides a sense of purpose and direction, guiding your decisions and priorities to ensure they align with your objectives.

“You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.”

— Alan Alda, actor

 Moreover, a clear goal enables you to break down complex aspirations into actionable steps, making them more manageable and achievable. It allows you to track your progress, celebrate milestones, and adjust your approach to stay on course.

 Having a clear goal also fosters resilience and perseverance in facing challenges. It provides a sense of focus and determination, helping you stay committed to your vision even when confronted with setbacks or obstacles.

 Ultimately, a clear goal empowers you to live with intention and purpose, guiding your actions and decisions toward a meaningful and fulfilling life. Whether it’s advancing your career, nurturing relationships, pursuing personal growth, or positively impacting the world, defining your goal is the first step towards realizing your dreams and aspirations.

4. Self-insight: knowing who you are and what you want.

Self-insight is the profound understanding and awareness of oneself, encompassing knowledge of one’s personality, values, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, and desires. It involves introspection, reflection, and a deep exploration of one’s inner thoughts, emotions, and motivations. Self-insight enables one to clearly understand who one is as an individual and what one truly wants out of life.

 Knowing who you are entails recognizing your unique qualities, preferences, and identity. It involves understanding your personality traits, such as introversion or extroversion, and how they influence your behavior and interactions. Self-insight also involves acknowledging your values and beliefs, which shape your decisions, priorities, and sense of purpose.

 Furthermore, self-insight involves recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. It requires honesty and humility to identify areas where you excel and areas where you may need improvement. Understanding your strengths allows you to leverage them to achieve your goals while acknowledging your weaknesses, which enables you to seek growth opportunities and develop strategies for self-improvement.

“It is your life and it is worth risking everything to make it yours.” – Oprah

 In addition to understanding yourself, self-insight involves knowing what you want from life. This includes setting meaningful goals, aspirations, and priorities that align with your values and desires. Self-insight allows you to clarify your ambitions, whether they involve career advancement, personal development, relationships, or lifestyle choices.

 Self-insight empowers you to make informed decisions congruent with your authentic self. It enables you to set boundaries, assert your needs, and pursue paths that resonate with your desires and aspirations. By understanding who you are and what you want, you can cultivate a sense of authenticity, fulfillment, and inner peace in your life.

 Self-insight requires ongoing introspection, self-awareness practices, and a willingness to explore your thoughts, emotions, and experiences. It involves seeking feedback from others, engaging in self-reflection exercises, and being open to personal growth and self-discovery.

 Ultimately, self-insight is a journey of self-discovery and personal growth that empowers you to live a purposeful and fulfilling life. By knowing yourself profoundly and understanding your aspirations, you can navigate life’s challenges with clarity, confidence, and authenticity.

  • Without confidence, you don’t take the leap.
  • Without perseverance, you want to go back halfway.
  • Without a clear goal, you can never determine where you land.
  • Without self-insight, you jump out of the plane with a backpack.

The bigger your backpack, the more risk you dare to take because you know you have all the skills to deal with it.

Here’s the deal with self-development: when you start changing yourself, everything around you starts changing too.

Want more success, luck, better relationships, or a more enjoyable job? It all starts with you. By focusing on improving yourself, you naturally become the person who attracts these positive things into your life. It’s all about becoming the best version of yourself.