To state an obvious: there’s tension between making plans and embracing the unknown.

Making plans gives us clarity, the plans energize us, and the plans give a ‘why’ to our day-to-day.  These plans dictate where and what we do. They offer clarity to why we ‘chop wood and carry water’ as the saying goes.

While the unknown might chuckle at our grandiose plans, waiting in the horizon with likely uncontrollable events that drastically alter the trajectory – good, bad, or otherwise.

We need both.

Clarity and plans are what gives us the structure to make a living, save money, invest for the long term, and have a basic working knowledge that human progress is inevitable, despite setbacks, no matter how major.

The unknown is what keeps us humble.  It tests our structure and our sense of clarity.  Our aim is always subject to change – no matter how detailed the business plan, no matter how thoughtful the retirement strategy.

The double edge sword is that clarity provides comfort but comes with extreme limitations.  We can only save so much, make so much, invest so much.  The unknown provides discomfort, but with infinite possibilities.  While we may not know what lies ahead, our futures can always be brighter than ever imagined.

Again, we need both.

So, we make plans (financial and otherwise).  Gain clarity and execute.  Chop wood and carry water.  Live our lives comfortably knowing what we’re doing and why.

While honoring, uncomfortably, that it could all be a giant misdirection.  Some won’t experience this, some will, most will have varying degrees – in small increments – along the way.

Implementing plans and structure avoids an immature rejection of human responsibility.

Paying respect to the unknown avoids stubbornness and rigidity and keeps us curious.

This is a never-ending wrestling match of progress.

And, giving daily attention to these two adversaries is our greatest wealth building technique.

Thanks for reading,


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