I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person that is always coming up with plans and projects for studying or other things I need to do. I kid you not! Let’s examine my obsession a little further with an example. I will be chugging happily along with a current plan(Studying daily for the MCAT with BR books for example), and my mind will be constantly searching for an easier, faster, better way to study. It’s good and bad in many ways. While I sometimes find a new idea that takes me and works then I’ve saved myself some work and am hopefully more efficient now. However, by constantly changing my plans I more often end up having to double back when things do wrong. Slowly, I’ve come to realize that there’s an easier way.
The Problem With Following A Plan
Have you ever tried to obey someone else’s forced plan or process? Have you ever tried to force yourself to obey a plan that you came up with yourself? Most likely you wasted so much time and energy making the damn thing perfect that you really have no will power left to execute it. Even if you do manage to execute the plan, it is often so much work that you can sustain it for any length of time, and you drop it after a few days or maybe a week-ish if you’re the really stubborn type.
“No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy,”
A German military strategist, Helmuth von Moltke, said the quote above. This is the point of this post. The core take home message you must understand. No plan you concoct will survive contact with reality. It must either be adaptable to the situation or it will be dropped quicker than a soiled diaper. If you try to soldier on with your original plan, against the reality that it isn’t working in some way, you will quickly fail. In my MCAT studies, the glaring flaw was the time it took to execute the plan. To work around it, I started using the ExamKracker(EK) books to study from and learn the material and then afterwards use the BR books for the passages to review. This change took me a long time to see and to accept. After doing it though, I am more ready to study each day knowing it’ll take me far less time. I go back and use BR to get more info if there’s something I didn’t understand well enough from EK.
Effort Counts For Nothing!
Anyways, just remember your ultimate goal when executing a plan. Your goal is not to follow the plan you, or someone else made, to the letter. Your goal is to ace that Orgo exam, to beast the MCAT, or to learn to play the guitar in order to gain the attention of millions of chicks. 😉 If the process isn’t working change it! Mold that process to suit you and your situation! There is no prize for doing more work to get to the same point. There are no runner-up awards for trying hard, only for awards are given those who make it across the finish line. Take control of your plans, and take some responsibility for your achieving your own success.