When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Oh, how frustrating! We work, prepare, plan, and practice. And then: disappointment. Things don’t break our way. Unexpected obstacles: flat tire, train, wreck, kid forgets lunch, spilled coffee, injury, and so on.

We don’t control the outcome. As much as we want to, or may falsely believe we do, we don’t…and won’t. All our decision biases result from our unwillingness to accept this truth.

What do we control? Our choices, our efforts, and our responses.

When things don’t break our way (and even when they do), we have choices. We can review our efforts and inputs. Could we have worked harder? Better? Longer? In a more focused way? Did we make and follow a plan?

And if all went well on the front end, we can choose our responses. Do we roll with it? Review the data and amend the plan to correct course? Or do we yell at the sky?

Choice, effort, response. That’s all we control, but it’s more than enough. After all, as a friend recently reminded me, “One warning-the damn world occasionally is not synchronized with my very important schedule!”


“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men. Gang aft a-gley”.*

-Robert Burns

*”Gang aft a-gley” roughly translates as “go wrong”. PS-This is the actual quote!


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Craig A. Escamilla
Craig A. Escamilla
Craig Escamilla helps you find solutions before problems exist. With fifteen years of consulting, teaching, and senior management experience, Craig brings a wealth of practical expertise to helping others work on rather than in their businesses.

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