Imperfect Planning

07 Feb

We all like to plan. Starting from a trip to a grocery shop to trips to other continents, we like to make sure that everything falls in place. Optimality being the key. Not just with travel, but also with a lot of day to day activities, planning remains to be a vital part of life. But, do we all enjoy the outcome of planning? I think, may be or may be not…

Most of the times when people come back from travel, I’ve always found that the majority of discussion will revolve around things that went wrong. Oh, so you went to Paris… What did you see there? If the answer was a vanilla list of all the places they visited, it is not all that interesting. However, as soon as a person starts talking about the places where they got lost or mugged or just couldnt communicate due to language barriers, the heat is on… Those irregularities seem to be the juice of the trip… I think this doesnt apply just to travel or any such planned outcomes, because when the end result is certain, there is no fascination. The moment uncertainities and imperfections kick in, everything becomes interesting. Looking back at life (makes me feel old…;)), I mostly remember such imperfections, which in a way summarizes the essence of life, inspite of all the careful planning that goes in at every inch along the path…


Posted by on February 7, 2007 in From AM-KICKING blog


9 responses to “Imperfect Planning

  1. Manohar

    February 7, 2007 at 11:13 pm


    Looks like for a personality that plans- when things go smoothly its expected and they remember only the unexpected ones. But for a person that doesn’t plan- things always go hapazard (expected) and I would suppose they remember the ones that went along smoothly (unexpected).

  2. Meera Manohar

    February 7, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    @Mindframes and Manohar: What u guys say makes a lot of sense πŸ™‚

    Now, all of us need to figure out who is what in terms of expectations *LOL*

  3. sdpal

    February 8, 2007 at 12:15 am

    Engiyoo poyiteengappa..! Good one!

  4. Max Max

    February 8, 2007 at 2:32 am

    nice blog mindframes…okie here is my perspective on things…broadly speaking the point, i think ur making is that in general, people focus on the negative aspects (or what went wrong) rather than what went right…so the question is why do we have asymmetric thought processes???

    now that is an interesting question…why do we not disucss the positives as much as the negatives…well the intuitive answer is related to learning..there might not be much to learn from the positives but a lot to learn from the negatives..this could explain asymmetric behavior…

    but what i wonder is if there are deeper cognitive reasons why we behave the way we do…any thoughts folks???

  5. Manohar

    February 8, 2007 at 4:58 am

    @madmax: I’m not so sure it matters whether the result is positive or negative (while it may be true as a subset in my thinking). but I think we learn from and remember the anomalies– to rephrase my comment.
    For a person who plans – things not happening according to plan is an anomaly- and vice versa when a person doesn’t plan- when things go butter smooth- thats an anomaly too…. and we remember only those….

    what say?

  6. BrainWaves

    February 8, 2007 at 9:04 am

    It is frustrating when your plans don’t go well. But it is more irritating if you try to follow the plan to perfection (esp. in things like travel)

    Executing the plan to perfection means you just achieved what you expected. Handling change in plans gives you a sense of achievement.

  7. Saumya

    February 8, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Both phases are important and joyous – I love the planning, and I love the unexpected. Without planning anything, things are too haphazard, and will tire me out. So, a nice balance, and an adrenaline boost once in a while is welcome!

  8. Mindframes

    February 8, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Another line of thought is that, we aspire to be in a fantasy filled world. I think fantasies are triggered by uncertain or unpredictable outcomes… Not sure if the person who experiences likes it or not, the observer sure likes the uncertainity in an otherwise predictable sequence. I believe this is the reason why movie industry and other entertainment industry thrives so well… When things become certain, the fantasy is crushed and the fun factor goes down…

  9. Survivor

    February 9, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Ok,Guilty as charged. I am a planner and it is getting no better. πŸ™‚ I would rather plan and face something predictable with a slight twist than waiting for some fantasy and adrenalin pumping. I am one of those who likes to be relaxed and whose adrenalin gets pumped for every minor mishap.Better safe than sorry.

    @ Brainwaves,
    Executing a well planned event without any mishaps gives me a major sense of achievement too.


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