Society Magazine

Four Key Planning Rules - Round 4

Posted on the 25 September 2012 by The Contender @The__Contender

Four Key Planning Rules - Round 4

Round 4 - Pulling himself off the floor and onto the ropes - Learning to fight back

MUFF has always had a go at work and life challenges and took some knocks along the way. MUFF never liked failure and generally took failure to heart (still the case). Perhaps that was because MUFF was never really taught that failure was actually a really good thing. Learning from mistakes is a gift and structured feedback is invaluable (but don't repeat the mistake again!).
MUFF has learned a some very important lessons and skills from my failure in work that are invaluable in my personal life.
Interestingly, in my corporate career, having a go was not really encouraged. Generally it was do as your are told and cover your back. MUFF found that having a go in work came at a cost to my career. Steady as she goes and take you time to set expectations. Expectations were everything.
MUFF may have been late on a few projects but why the demonisation of the late delivery? The new process MUFF had devised off his own back was saving significant time and money. It was all politics, egos and control tactics. As a result the majority of people kept their heads down and just wanted to go home each day. Is this true in other workplaces?
Failure at a young age should be embraced and encouraged. With extra coaching expectations can be managed while problem solving and common sense nurtured. MUFF's mistakes in the work environment could have been "learnt" earlier. Here are some of them:
Four Key Planning Rules - Round 4
  1. Keep it simple stupid -  being well educated I expected other people to be able to understand complex issues as well.
  2. Setting expectations and planning ahead - being over optimistic can cause problems come up with a plan make sure it is realistic (criticize it) make sure if it is going wrong you are open and address the issues early.
  3. Falling for the latest gimmick - this can being sold some thing you don't need at great cost and time to making bad choices (where to live, choice of job, latest investment mania)
  4. Is there another way to get this done faster what are the risks if we go down this route and how do we manage them?
This blog is my attempt to take some of the "work" tools and skills and adapt them to life in general. Here are the 4 core principles of this blog which may well expand with time.


Our world is a complex place so people that have the skill to keep things simple (understandable) yet effective are very influential people. Complexity on the other hand has a huge cost on mankind. Just think about all of the administrative burdens that we have placed on society that not only waste human time but precious resources.
One example is from the Dutch is road safety
It is interesting to read that more road signs can actually make a road more dangerous! This is because a) they distract and b) provide a false sense of security. A Dutch trial actually proved that minimal to no road markings made it safer because drivers actually slowed down naturally whilst actually reviewing their surroundings. So no ugly road signs at great cost.
Simple - as concise as possible to be understood and get the job done effectively. This is a real challenge.


“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ― Benjamin Franklin

The live for the day mentality that we have been lured into has reduced people's ability to plan ahead and consider the long term implications of their decisions. The consumption economy does not want you to consider your purchases they want them to be impulsive - this leads to a lot of waste
Here is an example: just look at how much food the UK populous throws out each year.
"Research suggests the average British family wastes £680 worth of food a year." - BBC
Planning your food shop with a shopping list and a budget would
1. cut down on the impulsive purchases (usually food that is not good for you...)
2. save you a lot of money as well a landfill waste.
There are so many things in life that require good planning and a critical review of the decisions in that plan such as, where to be educated, moving home, buying a car going on holiday or saving for retirement. The ability to plan effectively can make a huge difference to you and your family.
Planning - is there to clearly define your goal and how to get to it in the most effective manner possible.


Investing is not just saving some money. You can invest in your education, promotion prospects, time with your children and your health. Investing generates wealth for the long term. Consumption generally is a short term high - that new phone or car which you are fascinated with for several days or that selection of chocolate donuts and 6 pack of beers.
Consumption has become a way of life. Consumption of huge amounts of information is changing our attention spans and even our thought processes. In my opinion watching TV (unless it is an educational program) is not a very good use of your time. This time could be spent on exercise which would a) make you feel more alive at that point in time and hopefully delay some of the negative aspects of aging. Reading the latest celebrity gossip is not going to get you their life style the majority of people have to work for it, develop skills and save towards their goals.
A key aspect of this fledgling blog is to get saving and investing wisely in wealth and education. From a wealth aspect the following quote is one of the most important on this blog:
“The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest” - Albert Einstein 
Investing - using your resources to gain a sustainable return. In this blog I will be covering the goal of financial independence through saving and investing.
Please see posts MUFF Financial Freedom in 7 Years, 10 rules of Extreme Saving, MUFF investment Challenges and FAC51 10 reasons why Frugality is Cool

Critical Thinking, Innovation and Risks

Critical thinking should be a core part of school. The video above covers one aspect. Realism. We have optimists, pessimists and realists the last of which is where I firmly sit.
An optimist might say 9 billion people to support on the planet - heck we can support 20 billion easily we can invent our way
A realist might say say 9 billion to support on our planet is enough as we are starting to see significant stress on our environment.  Do we want our society to be one big concrete jungle? We work towards a sustainable system where our footprint is small but society is rich and vibrant.
The pessimist crowd will likely be pointing out the depletion of natural resources and in ability to support 9 billion in x years time so hunker down folks!
Realism really is the ability to weigh up the pro's and con's of each situation rationally and come to some conclusions and the related risks. In my opinion we have too may optimists in it for their own gain running the key institutions on the planet.
Innovation: All humans are borne with the ability to think outside of the box but this is not nurtured throughout their lives. I believe the education system is training people to carry out repetitive complex actions quickly to meet today's work paradigm. We are trying to sustain the unsustainable idea that everyone can have a car, mobile phone etc. we only have one planet.
The world needs a big debate on what we see as human progress. Is what doing we doing sustainable and making society happier? What should be the really important goals of society - eliminating war and poverty...? Lets allocate our efforts to moving mankind forward instead maintaining the status quo of population control through the free bread and circuses we currently have.

Key concepts:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Invest in yourself and others
  3. You must have a plan and action it
  4. Critical thinking outside of the box
MUFF feeling healthy today:

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