How many of us have had plans shattered by a metaphorical punch in the mouth? We come up with plans for a career, a house, or a relationship, only to find ourselves lying on our backs looking up into lights, having been flattened by a haymaker. The punch in the mouth may take the form of an illness, loss of a job, loss of a loved one or many smaller challenges that result in the same sore jaw. Whatever form the punch takes, it comes unexpectedly and sends us reeling. A few nights ago I was watching a boxing match. The commentators were discussing the game plan one of the boxers had leading up to the fight. The fighter's plan had been solid but he was losing the fight. One of the commentators quoted Mike Tyson saying “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” One needn't look far to notice some parallels to life outside the ring.
I think plans are a good thing. They help us identify goals and establish strategies for success. Sometimes unpredictable circumstances make us question whether the plan we made was sound. Our confidence is shaken and we are wondering whether it was a bad plan from the beginning or a good plan requiring exceptional discipline. We can do two things with our plans after we get punched in the mouth. Option 1: Stick with the plan. Option 2: Come up with a new one. Both options require courage and wisdom. Wisdom is necessary because sometimes our plans just aren't that great. Stubbornly sticking to a bad plan will lead nowhere. Courage is required to change course. On the other hand, sometimes good plans meet great resistance. It is wisdom that enables us to trust in a good plan and courage that empowers us to persevere.
If you decide to alter your plan, may you have the wisdom to adopt a better plan. If you decide to stick with the original plan may you have the courage and confidence to endure. Whether you decide to stick with the first plan or create a new one, may you find the strength to pick yourself up from the mat and keep fighting. Sooner or later we all get punched. What will come of your plan?