I spoke with a colleague (let’s call him Jim) recently about their future. Now, Jim is the person you want working with you and in your meetings. He’s logical, thoughtful, and always asks probing questions to encourage deeper thought.
So when Jim shared his five-year plan for the future with me, I leaned in. He then laid out a plan for retiring in three years, at which point he’d be in his mid-sixties. His spouse had retired a few years ago and he wanted to travel and stay busy in retirement.
“Why wait three years?” I asked.
His response tore through me. “In three years we’ll be healthy enough to travel. We’ll lose weight, exercise more, and then we’ll be ready to enjoy life.”
I’ve done this too (too often to count). I’ve built a perfect plan, a beautiful Gantt-style chart of the picture-perfect path forward. Then someone will ask a question and like a slap across the face I’ll realize the flaw.
A few months ago, after one of these realizations, I relayed the incident to my wife. I told her that sometimes I live in a world of glitter and rainbows.
She smirked and while she tried not to nod vigorously, her body language shouted an affirmation.
Are glitter and rainbows blinding you?
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman