A Fool with a Plan...
Is Better Than a Genius with No Plan.

As I precede down the yellow brick road of life, I have benefitted from what I have observed in watching others in life. More importantly, I observed my behavior. One would think that at nearly 72, I would have become very wise-or at least very observant.

T. Boone Pickens T. Boone Pickens

One important observation was reading what T. Boone Pickens said, "A fool with a plan is better than a genius with no plan." My personal observation about myself is that I have a problem with carrying out my plan. I can plan, but the implementation is not where I excel. A part of my problem is that I am right-brain, which means that I see things globally. Nonetheless, staying focused is not my forté. I see the big picture and that big picture morphs to another big picture. I delight in the flow of cascading pictures before me, but I often do not get much done other than being distracted.

Therefore, I need a plan and, of equal importance, I need a schedule addressing the details on an hourly basis. This is a recent weekly schedule of mine.

Once I am committed to a plan, I need to follow the schedule. Both are Herculean efforts on my part. When I am successful with my plan and its implementation, my time is freed up, which will give me more time to dream dreams that never were and say why not to paraphrase Bobby Kennedy.

My plan and its implementation involve a 3-prong approach: physical, educational, and creative. Let us look at this tripartite plan.

  1. Physical. After a prostatectomy, the surgeon told me that I would have to return in a couple of years because the cancer had gone beyond the prostate, which the cancer did. I began a drug therapy for two months and then had radiation for two months and continued the drugs during radiation. One of the side effects of the drug was weight gain of about 40-pounds.

For a while, I got used to the weight gain and just let it ride...until I reached 204-pounds. Finally, I acted. I am down to around 167-pounds and by the time that this article is posted, I will reach my goal of 165...almost of 40-pound drop.

Another issue is exercise. It certainly helps in the weight reduction area, but beyond that, it is essential for good cardiovascular health. I have ridden both a stationary and regular road bikes for many decades in my cardiovascular program. For years, I used the formula of taking 220, minus my age, and multiplying it by 80%, which would be my exercise target rate during a 20-minute daily exercise program.

At my first exam with Dr. Marchand, my cardiologist, he told me to forget the mathematical formula. All that I needed to focus upon was to exercise for 45-minutes daily on my bike or kayak, and I have.

If you do not make a plan for your physical health, you will be wasting your time going any further in reading this essay. You might not live long enough to carry out the rest of the plan. So see your doctor and then develop an exercise plan, which includes a healthy diet.

  1. Educational. This plan is both formal and informal. Get the best formal education behind you and then plan for either online or onsite continuing education. If you need a 4-year college degree, once you get it...do not stop. Take a class towards a masters once or twice a year.

However, pursue an informal educational plan also. Pick some area in which truly enjoy, and begin the process of gaining knowledge. It will not be difficult in finding an area of your personal interest. Years ago, I wanted to write. I worked with Dr. Olmsted for 6-years in an informal classroom...my office at my home.

  1. Creative. This final prong is easier for right-brain people, but it is important for all to do. Do something just for the benefit of enjoying it. Be creative. If you paint landscapes or portraits, set aside time each day or every week to paint. If you are not van Gogh, then plan to paint your family room. If you like to arrange dry flowers for your living room or plant flowers around your house.

On Seeing the Light

On Seeing the Light

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