“No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy”

business Jul 15, 2022

Let me ask you a question.  Would you like to have more success whatever you’re planning to achieve?

Would you like to know you’ll make the right decisions more instinctively than you do right now?

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Well, it really all starts from understanding that everyone fails.  In fact – it is necessary for learning.  If you don’t fail how can you know what doesn’t work and what does? In fact, everything in life is about failing and learning.  As you keep failing, you keep learning. You make a mistake and you learn from it, you move forward.

An even better idea is to learn from other people’s mistakes and this shortcuts your own learning. If someone has been there and done that – why re-invent the wheel?

It is interesting that some people are really resistant to learning, planning, and practising.  When things go wrong, as they inevitably do when you are learning, they feel they may as well have just winged it and got on with doing the task in hand, rather than taking the time to think it through, plan and have a ‘battle strategy’ around it.

But here’s the thing, some of the greatest minds in the world have said that learning and practising are two of the most important things that we can all do to advance what we are doing.  I mean, Einstien famously said, “in theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice, they’re different”.  A nineteenth-century Prussian military commander, Helmuth van Moltke, is quoted as saying “no battle plan survives first contact”.

This is true because no matter how much planning you put into it, no matter how much forethought, there is always going to be something that goes wrong, something you haven’t thought about or factored in.  But you know what?  The more you practice the less of these pop-up. And the more ready you are to quickly adjust, change path and get back on course.

So you need to be ready for the unexpected, which is the whole point in the practice piece, because when you keep practising you’ll start to recognize the warning signs that things are starting to go wrong. And you’ll be more able to make those necessary adjustments.

It’s a bit like being an athlete. Athletes spend a lot of their time practising.  They become better at what they do because they are practising with a purpose. They want to get to peak performance and they know that can’t happen by ‘winging it’. And therefore whilst practising what they’re doing, they find out what went really well, what didn’t go so well and they adjust on a daily basis.

So I’m challenging you to do the same. Are you making sure that you’re planning and practising and constantly adjusting what you are doing to make those incremental improvements that are going to make things better?

Are you evaluating what you are doing on a regular basis so that you can replicate what you do well and you can get rid of what you don’t do so well?

Or are you just going to continue to do what you do right now and continue to get the same results.?