“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.”
Norman Vincent Peale
When I was in junior high school, one of my closest friend’s fathers decided to surprise his wife with homemade fried chicken. His kids had never seen fried chicken made at home so they volunteered to help. He and the kids worked on the dish all afternoon. They mixed the ingredients, coating the chicken with buttermilk and the flour mixture. The oil heated perfectly, sizzling slightly when tested. Finally, it was time to start frying the chicken. With baited breath, he dropped in the first few pieces of chicken into the oil. Three sets of eyes peered over the edge as they waited. A wonderfully sweet smell filled the kitchen and my fried looked at her dad questioning why the fried chicken smelled like donuts.
After a frantic glance back through the ingredients, the problem was located. He did not taste or smell the flour before he started. He simply saw smooth white and assumed it was flour. It was powdered sugar. A brief meltdown ensued. The youngest cried because this wasn’t what fried chicken was supposed to look like. The oldest, my friend, rolled her eyes and said she couldn’t wait for Mom to get home.
Dad on the other hand refused to give up. He continued “frying” the powdered sugar chicken and foraged through the pantry for some sort of cover up. He found it in a can of pineapple. By the time Mom got home, he had the table set with French fries, corn, and Hawaiian chicken. To this day, he is not allowed to even mention making fried chicken at home!
I always think about this anytime I am planning for something new. We can have the best intentions and the most perfect plan, but if we do not pay attention to the details, we can end up in a very different place than we originally thought. Planning is more than deciding where you want to be, it is in how you want to get there. Allow for some flexibility along the way but take the time to truly prepare because the beauty of planning is in the details.