Can you think of a time recently that you were engaged in a conversation with someone you know, and how the topic of planning to do something came up? When this happened, you likely talked about following through and making these plans happen, but what is the percentage of time this actually happened?
Sure, most people have good intentions of following through with the plans they verbally commit to, but I’m going to suggest that these plans are fake. They are fake because if they were real, and the person really wanted to have the plans materialize, they would have acted to see them through. Although perhaps not, as maybe they didn’t follow through with the plans they talked about for a number of different reasons.
The first reason is perhaps they forgot about the conversation, or were only going along in the spirit of making the other person feel good about having another time when they would be getting together to do something. Or, is it possible that people are just lazy, and lack the diligence, energy and commitment it takes to follow through? I suspect the reason is oriented more around this possibility.
Can you think of a time when you made plans with someone, and you genuinely intended to have these plans occur, but they never did? How many times would you say this happens? My estimate of this happening is potentially higher as a percentage than I’m willing to state, but it’s not a favorable number. Although I wish it was. What would your percentage estimate be?
As I was considering some of the other reasons people in general make fake plans, and these occur both in business and in our personal lives, I was discouraged by this phenomenon. Namely because when I personally consider either these fake plans that I have tried to follow up on, how difficult it can be to get people to commit to the reality of them happening. Yes, people are busy, but it’s also a matter of being true to your word. Something that is also woven into this issue of fake planning.
Depending on your lens of looking at the problem of people making fake plans, in my experience, I have both been witness to, and subjected to other people’s verbal commitments, which were often disappointingly not committed to. This non-committal situation is a foundational problem which has been supporting the issue with fake planning for a long time. The good news is that this problem can be addressed. Taking it a step further, I have personally acted on in my own life to prune fake planning type of people out of my life both personally and professionally.
If I were to ask you right now how many fake plans have you made lately, or let’s refer to them as opportunistic plans that have not occurred yet, would you be in the percentage category of people who are making fake plans with others? Perhaps on a regular basis. As you stop to pause to think about this, consider why you have been doing this. Have or will there be repercussions of not following through on plans you verbally committed to? Do you care, or do you accept this as it’s just that way life goes?
I chose a long time ago to not accept associating with people who are fake planners, and when I meet someone new, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt to prove to me that they don’t fall into this category. When they don’t, I’m pleasantly surprised, and always happy to find someone who has a similar conviction of being true to their word.
When spoken plans are followed through with, they tend to enrich our lives. If you are someone who is a fake planner, or perhaps know someone who is, and are interested in how to stop doing this, below are some suggestions for you or them to consider.
- Yes, this is going to be painfully obvious, but if you make plans with someone today, follow through today on making those plans happen.
- Consider why you are making fake plans with others. Do you have valid reasons for doing so, and are you doing this more often than not?
- What would happen in your life if you actually followed through and made all of the fake plans you talked about occur?
- Have you noticed that others fall into this category? The first step to breaking a habit or to change the course of action, is to acknowledge you are doing it.
- Are you aware of some people who are amazing at following through with plans you spoke about? Could you attempt to try out some of their methods and follow through with plans like they do?
- What if you surrounded yourself with more people who are true to their word, and follow through with what they say they are going to do?
- Imagine how much more enriched your personal and professional life will be by being able to actually looking forward to plans that will occur?
- Do you want to be a role model for others? Following through and not being labeled a “fake planner” is a great place to start.
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