Monday, March 11, 2013

Why Do Plans Inspire People?

A LOT has been written about planning. Call it the "action plan" or the "shit we got to do today plan". Whatever it is, as humans we are fascinated with plans/lists/goal setting/agendas/etc. Not only are we enthralled with them, we gain inspiration, vision and drive. But why?

To start, the science sheds some light here. According to a study posted on Psychology Today, planing frees up our cognitive resources for goals or tasks. In other words, it allows us to focus our mental processes to what Psychology Today describes as the "predecision" part of our brain. We can execute with clarity knowing that the planning of another goal has been taken care of.

But I must ask, is planning also more like mental masturbation? I've known too many executives and adventurers who have stuck to failed plans, or have planned so much they didn't actually accomplish their first goal - succeed in something. However, what's so wild to me, is that the people following this plan still, well, follow it.

Perhaps we need to assume that plans are both...

  1. Mental masturbation - which can be inspiring, and
  2. Predecision clarity - which allows us to do NOW instead of stressing out

If so, I feel a lot better after climaxing about all this planning in this blog post. What about you?

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