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A plan is a set of intended actions, through which one expects to achieve a goal.


  • "The best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft a-gley; and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy"
    • Robert Burns, from "To a Mouse" ("Gang aft a-gley" is translated: "Often go awry")
  • There is no fate that plans men's lives. Whatever comes to us, good or bad, is usually the result of our own action or lack of action.
    • Herbert N. Casson cited in: Forbes magazine (1950) The Forbes scrapbook of Thoughts on the business of life. p. 218
  • Why don’t we just call plans what they really are: guesses.
    • Jason Fried and David Heinemeier, Rework (2009)
  • You have the most information when you're doing something, not before you've done it. Yet when do you write a plan? Usually it's before you've even begun.
    • Jason Fried and David Heinemeier, Rework (2009)
  • You need to try to do the impossible, to anticipate the unexpected. And when the unexpected happens, you should double the efforts to make order from the disorder it creates in your life. The motto I'm advocating is — Let chaos reign, then rein chaos. Does that mean that you shouldn't plan? Not at all. You need to plan the way a fire department plans. It cannot anticipate fires, so it has to shape a flexible organization that is capable of responding to unpredictable events.
    • Andy Grove (1995). High Output Management, p. 229
  • The plans and schemes of tyrants are broken by many things. They shatter against cliffs of heroic struggle. They rupture on reefs of open resistance. And they are slowly eroded, bit by little bit, on the very beaches where they measure triumph, by countless grains of sand. By the stubborn little decencies of humble little men.
  • And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to father time
    • Benjamin Gibbard/Chris Walla, from the song What Sarah Said by Death Cab for Cutie.
  • This very remarkable man
    Commends a most practical plan:
    You can do what you want
    If you don’t think you can’t
    So don’t think you can’t if you can.
  • It is better to have a bad plan than no plan.
  • "Life is what happens to you, while you're busy making other plans.
    • John Lennon, From Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) off the 1980 "Double Fantasy" album.
    • Originally "Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans." by Allen Saunders, as quoted in the “Quotable Quotes” section of Reader's Digest, in the January 1957 issue.
  • The Joker: I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know... You know what I've noticed? Nobody panics when things go "according to plan." Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it's all "part of the plan". But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
  • "Every age has its peculiar folly: Some scheme, project, or fantasy into which it plunges, spurred on by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the force of imitation."
    • Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
  • In the space of two days I had evolved two plans, wholly distinct, both of which were equally feasible. The point I am trying to bring out is that one does not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. One tries to make plans fit the circumstances.
  • Plans fail when there is no consultation,
    But there is accomplishment through many advisers.
    • Proverbs 15:22, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
  • We must discipline ourselves to convert dreams into plans, and plans into goals, and goals into those small daily activities that will lead us, one sure step at a time, toward a better future.
    • Jim Rohn, Five Major Pieces To the Life Puzzle (1991)
  • A good plan is a simple plan.
    • Jim Rohn, Five Major Pieces To the Life Puzzle (1991)
  • A wise man once said that to do a great and important work, two things are necessary: a definite plan, and not quite enough time.
    • R.C. Schafer (1977) The magic of self-actualization: the development of human potential from where you are to where you want to be. p. 124
  • A wise man should never resolve upon any thing, at least never let the world know his resolution; for if he cannot arrive at that, he is ashamed. How many things did the resolve in his declaration concerning Scotland, never to do, and yet did them all?
  • Malum est consilium, quod mutari non potest.
    • Translation: It is a bad plan that can not be changed.
    • Publilius Syrus, Sententiae (c. 43 BC)


  • Ha'atid hu ma she'kore be'zman she'anachnu asukim be'letachnen (העתיד הוא מה שקורה בזמן שאנחנו עסוקים בלתכנן).
    • Translation (from hebrew): The future is what happens while we are busy planning for it.
    • Meaning: people always say "One day I'll do this and I'll do that", but while they say it, time goes by and they don't put any of their plans to action.

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