Forget about contingency plans – do this instead

On how to plan

Planning for success is recommended by many people. The advice is to make a plan and a contingency plan in order to allow for some flexibility in the event of unforeseen circumstances while continuing towards success.,  The idea is to create one or more outcomes and pursue them relentlessly.

It all sounds good, except that planning does not accommodate changing values, circumstances, and opportunities with much flexibility, in my experience. Planning usually results in expectations that if unmet, can affect our state negatively.

An alternative to planning

A great alternative for planning is setting a clear intention. Knowing what you are doing things for will give you all the flexibility you need in order to succeed in what you are doing. To discover your intention, imagine you have achieved your outcome and experience it as if you were there in real time. Then you can become aware of what you want it to give you or do for you. That is your intention. Notice that an intention is different from a reason (why you wanted the outcome).

Recognising your intention can give you more options than planning does.

Planning does not provide room for variables and sudden changes, whereas having a clear intention does. Additionally, knowing your intentions does not lead to unfulfilled expectations. Intentions allow you to work in the present with whatever resources you have instead of relying on future events happening to order to fulfil certain criteria.

Let me show you how this works.

When I first started writing, I used to get mental blocks and stare at my laptop’s screen for hours, looking for ways to create content that would fit the structure I had planned to use. I thought that consistency was about how the articles looked rather than their functionality/intention.

These days, I have found a much better way to go about writing. I find my intention for writing something and then adapt the structure of the writing to match my intention.

The result?

When I sit down to write, I have a clear intention, in this case, to provide you with the most useful and practical information I can articulate based on research and my own experience.

Now, having that intention has helped me greatly to reduce the frequency of mental blocks while writing.

The way it works is that I do not have one set structure or a single way to go about writing my articles. All I require is that they match my intention. This gives more flexibility and room to be creative while writing. This is quite liberating, as you can imagine.

You may be wondering how to apply this concept if you are doing something other than writing.

It does not matter what you are doing. It can be writing, working, training, choosing a career path, or your dinner. Anything that comes to mind that would have required some planning can be approached through your intention.

Having a clear intention for what you want to do will provide you with more flexibility and make you more effective than most people who function without knowing their intentions.

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