Parts of a Whole

No plan comes together all at once. Plans get put together piece by piece. Each piece gives you more information for the next step. It’s good to have a big picture to know where you are going, but over-planning can bring disappointment that you don’t need.

Some parts don't fit in a tidy box. Cactus grid © Quinn McDonald, 2015

Some parts don’t fit in a tidy box. Cactus grid © Quinn McDonald, 2015

If you love control, you think that planning every inch, every second will bring you what you want. Life doesn’t work that way. Life is messy, but messy is interesting if you let it be.

Keep the big plan in mind. Keep the goal in sight. But here’s the real secret. Stay flexible. Not every piece has to drop into the pre-determined box to make the final piece complete.

Leave yourself room to shift, change, and grow. Your problem-solving skills will not drop away. You always have the skills necessary to make the plan move forward. There will be many times the final plan didn’t come together the way you want, but if you keep problem-solving skills working, the final plan may be better then the first plan.

Control is not everything. Sometimes determination, patience, flexibility, creativity, and ingenuity trump control. Sometimes you have to dump the plan and start over. You can choose.

-Quinn McDonald knows the charm of asymmetry.

9 thoughts on “Parts of a Whole

  1. I feel such joy in reading your wise words so perfect for me this morning.I’ve spent my life living pretty undisciplined,out of fear.I’ve not known HOW to begin,outside of not judging myself for learning to walk.This gives me hope and courage,Thank You!

  2. This is exactly what I needed today as I head to my studio to begin plans for an interactive Bible study that I am going to lead this summer. This is the second thing I have read today that talks about being creative, yet organized. I think that means I better pay attention! Thank you Quinn for sharing you thoughts and ideas with us every day. You will never know about all of the lives that you have touched through your words. Keep up the amazing work!

  3. I’ve seen planning, at least marketing planning, dramatically change as the internet has become a more central part of how people educate themselves. The internet is a great platform for testing your way to your goal. Learning your way to your goal via small tests is much cheaper and faster than laying out grand plans and marching forward. Goals, good. Traditional plans all muscled up with assumptions and cool charts, obsolete.

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