Why plan? To be at our best when the unexpected presents itself.
This is my favorite clock. The hand transverses a color spectrum background correlated to the seasons. It takes one year for the annual hand to complete its journey. The daily movements are so fine as to be imperceptible Over the course of a week one can observe the subtle passage of time.
My enthusiasm for the Present is not only the remarkable way in which it represents time but also in the manner it calibrates my perception of time. Far more meaningful are the actions and experiences that take place within the annual transition of seasons than the list of appointments that fill my days on an electronic calendar. It are those remarkable moments that map back the annual clock.
I use the Present as a metaphor for planning. Which journeys are worth taking during the next five rotations of the Present that will be meaningful? Strategy demands a more distant horizon than the actions and objectives that fill the hours of our day. A new representation of time can be liberating to our thinking.
Reading the book Ignorance: How it Drives Science by Stuart Firestein. There is a remarkable line that the author attributes to neuroscientist John Krakauer.
Two of his mantras are that “plants don’t have nervous systems, because they don’t go anywhere,” and “the reason to exist is to act.”
Placing these ideas in the context of a cause, they illuminate the fact that actions feels rewarding. Even when it may not be the best step, perhaps driving around a new town looking for a hotel or gas station late at night versus stopping to ask directions. Out nervous system is seeking movement and therefore we can only stand planning in reasonable doses. Striking the balance between strategizing and acting is essential for keeping the members of the tribe engaged and connected to the cause.
This insight provides me with a paradigm shift about how to schedule meetings, planning retreats, and gatherings. Fans need appropriate opportunities to celebrate action and reflection.