Planning Ha Ha

Man Plans and G-d Laughs!

So in retrospect, in 2015, not a single person got the answer right to ‘where do you se yourself 5 years from now?’


Where you gonna be in 2020?


Stuck at home for almost the entire year!


But you are a fortune teller and are so smart you should’ve rolled your dice in the ever exploding  bubble of a stock market.


Oh, that’s right, you did!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

No Matter How Much You Prepare

So we just finished watching Season Six of Alone (and have now started Season Seven).


Highly trained professionals (military and otherwise) with ALL the skills, experience, and confidence setting out to survive in the arctic, alone.


Each one thinks they can make it and outlast the others.


And watching these folks, you think to yourself, wow, these people can fish, hunt, build shelters, survive off of the land, and know how to survive.


Yet, usually well before 100 days, (virtually) all the contestants are out:

No matter how well prepared they are, life happens!


– They get hugely sick, often from the gross food they are eating.


-They fall down and hurt or break something.


– They cut or stab themselves.


– They lose one or more of their essential survival tools.


– They inadvertently burn down their own shelters.


– Animals steal their food or attack them.


– They starve and their bodies start to break down critical fat stores in their heart or other vital organs.


– They start to lose their minds from the lack of nutrition and mind-numbing loneliness.


It seems like no matter how well trained and prepared they are, they can’t outrun, outwit, out-survive what life eventually throws at them.


Even the last person “standing” is still usually more dead than alive.


Anything other than self-control is ultimately an illusion.


Remember, life happens, and eventually everyone needs help from someone.


No man is an island even if you are living on one. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

OPTIMISM vs pessimism

So I thought this really matched my philosophy to a T on optimism and pessimism. 


As Joel Rosenberg put it in his book The Ezekiel Option, “In the long run everything would turn out fine…but tomorrow could be a disaster.”


In short, this equates to:


I’m a strategic optimist, but a tactical pessimist. 


My mom used to say, “If I am pessimistic, I’ll never be disappointed.” LOL


I think though when we have faith then we know that truly, in the end everything is for the best and will be okay.


In the short term though, there are challenges to face and these can be tough indeed. 


– Strategically an optimist. 


– Tactically a pessimist. 


Plan for the worst, hope for the best. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Prepare To Survive!

Picture from active shooter training today. 


Saw a great (and scary) video on RUN, HIDE, FIGHT (from http://www.readyhoustontx.gov) — link to video is here.


Other take-a-ways:

  • Always have a plan A, B, and C. 
  • If you can’t run or hide, fight with everything at your disposal–engage and neutralize the shooter!
  • Survive, you’re not done until your done!


Please G-d, we should never have to deal with the horror of this, but it’s good to learn to be always ready. 😉


(Credit Photo: U.S. Marshal Service)

Goals Vs. Tactics

I liked this saying from someone in the IDF. 


Be “flexible in tactics, but stay fixed on the goals!”


There are many ways to accomplish the same thing. 


And different people have their own approaches. 


As in the lyrics: “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road.”


That’s absolutely okay. 


In fact, that’s one of the strengths and benefits of diversity.


We bring different ways of looking at the world to the table.


Hence, we can bounce fresh ideas off each other and come to a great way forward. 


The main thing is that we focus on our goals and progress to achieve them. 


Be rigid on goals and flexible in tactics. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Open Your Eyes

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Open Your Eyes to Hashem.”

G-d has a plan and a reason for everything–not only for them, but for all of us. We are all on a journey, and even if we don’t always readily see G-d, it’s part of our core faith that He is always there, He is guiding us, and that everything is for the best. Yet despite our best efforts to have faith, at times, we may feel that we don’t know what we’re doing here–why we’re at this place, at this time, or even how we got here–we may actually feel a little lost. Maybe we just can rattle off a list of “Well I did this and then that and then this other thing happened.” But exactly how we got to where we are, regardless of our best laid plans, is often a mystery to us as human beings. As I often tell students and colleagues in the planning discipline of enterprise architecture, “Man plans, and G-d laughs.”


While we may think we are going about fulfilling our plans and accomplishing our life dreams, the truth is that everything ultimately comes from G-d. He gives you the strength, the health, the family and friends as support, the talent, the opportunity, and the right thoughts in your head and the right words in your mouth to do what you do. Of course, we must do our part and the hard work to find and fulfill our mission in life and to overcome the challenges we face, but we are flesh and blood and in the bigger realm of things, messengers of G-d in fulfilling his bigger plan for all of us. If we open our eyes, we realize that wherever we end up and whatever happens to us is by His merciful decree.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

@Bagels and Business with CEO Hair Cuttery, Dennis Ratner

Hair Cuttery has 1,000 company-owned Salons in 18 states in the USA.  


Dennis Ratner, the founder and CEO is a huge success story.


– Puts people first. 


– Gives back to the community. 


– Believes in vision, planning, and execution. 


– Dennis said: “Effort = Reward” and to be “Relentless” in pursuing your passion.


– Great roles model. 


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

UNDERpromise + OVERdeliver

Every manager is rightly taught to underpromise and overdeliver. 


It’s sound planning and good risk management to plan for contingencies–and certainly these do happen. 


Build in some buffer time and resources into your estimates, because reality bites and you need to have the ammunition to respond. 


My father used to tell me:

“A word is a word!”


When you say something, promise something, commit to something then that is it!”


To do otherwise is to have no honor, no character, and no fear of G-d. 


Similarly, when you overpromise and underdeliver, you fail yourself and your customers.


People commit time, resources, and faith in you, so you owe it to them to set realistic goals and plans to accomplish them.


To do otherwise, you risk damage to the longterm relationship, you hurt your credibility, and maybe most importantly, you hurt the chances of genuine progress. 


The philosophy that I believe works best is:  Be thoughtful. Be strategic. Be direct. Be honest.  


That’s what I would want from others and that’s also what I strive to be. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Barking and Biting

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, “We Must Take Every Bark Seriously.”

Sometimes, when they bark, they don’t bite. But other times, the bark is the prelude to the bite. I don’t think you can judge intentions by the bark, and I am certain you need to always be ready for the bite. Dogs and people are not really that different. Over millennia of history, Jews have been threatened and persecuted–barked at and bitten, and they have not been mutually exclusive.


The Jewish people are few in number and with a small but miraculous and wonderful country–we know that rabid dogs that bark against us, also can bite ferociously, and we must take every threat seriously for our very survival. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

You Ended Up In Hell City

So a friend told me something funny.


It was about being given what appears to be a wonderful opportunity, but in reality it’s not all roses. 


In short, it went something like this:

There was an exciting competition and a prize at the end. 
Everyone prepared and worked hard to win it. 
But when the competition was over, what was the prize?
The 2nd place was two weeks in Philadelphia. 
The 1st place was one week in Philadelphia. 


I had to think about that for a second, but that is really pretty funny and true. 


No not about Philadelphia, but about life–that what we often mistakenly want so badly and strive for with all our energies, and then only to find out that it really wasn’t as good or amazing for us and our families as we imagined. 


Yes, very often you set your sights on certain goals to win the competition, but then you find out that the BIG prize (“first place”) is really not something to get excited about, because it’s in Philadelphia!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)