Desiderata by Max Ehrmann is a 1927 prose poem. "Desiderata" (Latin: "desired things")
6. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
The instruction is to enjoy our achievements as well as our plans. The assumption is that we will achieve through planning.
Enjoy our plans as well as our achievements. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the work. Enjoy the reward.
I'm a planner. Planning is my organizer. Planning structures my day. Planning allows me to prioritize and be deliberate. I believe that planning is 90% of the work. In my work as a counselor in higher education, my analogy to freshmen students was that their planner is their parent in abstentia.
If a friend asks or even pressures a student to come out to play, the student can dutifully check her planner to provide a legitimate answer. If her planner says, “No, you can't go out and play with your friend because you've scheduled study time,” the student obeys her planner. It provides a valid and mature reason to say, “No. I'm sorry, I can't come out to play. I'll schedule it in my planner for another time.”
I admit that I over-plan because I'm not good with the unexpected. I maintain a planner and a calendar. I make lists. I carry items over to a new list until it either gets done or is no longer relevant. I anticipate. I set goals. My list is my goals. My goals are my list. Planning has served me well in my personal life and in my career.
I plan because planning provides structure and a sense of security. If it's not on the list, it probably won't get done. However, I enjoy the satisfaction of crossing items off my list. Consequently, if a task isn't on my list, I add it to the list and cross it off after completing it. Obsessive? Maybe, but no self conscious apology from me - and I'd like to believe that I'm not alone in this.
That's who I am, now. I resisted planning and organizing in my “youth” because it felt restrictive and time demanding. It required commitment and self-discipline, and I couldn't see the benefit or the reward. Nonetheless, it became a necessity if I wanted to be productive and successful, i.e. achieve.
In the meantime, I was introduced to the concepts of motivation and incentive. Motivation is internal; Incentive is external. Motivation is enthusiasm, drive, ambition, initiative, determination, enterprise. Incentive is inducement, motivation, encouragement, reward. If you find it confusing to distinguish between the two – so do I. That's why I eventually simplified these concepts to my P.R.I.V.I.
When I plan through my P.R.I.V.I., my achievements are intentional, identifiable, joyful and personally satisfying. Through planning, it is the quality of the achievements that is the objective - not the quantity.
Planning incorporates and facilitates a vision. It provides meaning and direction to our living journey and, perhaps, to our legacy. What was thought to be the downside of planning, that is, restrictive, time demanding, requiring commitment and self-discipline have shown to be the upside - our empowering and priceless reward and achievement.
Thank you for reading. What are your thoughts?
Dedicated to my sons Jibri and Chris, my privilege and blessing. EcwmB