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Successful Planning: 5 Lessons Learned From A Garage Door Remote

Lessons To Be Learned

There are many things that we encounter everyday, and if you dig deep enough into each one of them you will find lessons that can be applied in many different ways.  Today, we will see what we can learn from an everyday garage door remote.

1. Things Don’t Always Work To Plan

Anyone who has used a garage door opener knows that it doesn’t always work when you need it to.  For some unknown reason, when you press the button the door just won’t open, but when you get in the car the next day it works like a charm.

Did it get too hot, were the planets in alignment, why wouldn’t it work?  We will probably never know, and that is exactly the same with life.  Have you ever heard the phrase “while we’re making plans, life is happening?”

That phrase has a much deeper underlying meaning: Your plans don’t necessarily change the world around you.  So as you go through your day and everything seems to go wrong, just understand that you can’t control everything and sometimes the only answer is to just go with the flow.  Always make plans, but understand that something can easily go wrong.

2. Sometimes, Persistence is Required

Sometimes, after hitting the button repeatedly, the door will open.  We don’t know why, maybe you weren’t close enough, but after it opens we are happy that it worked.  The same thing applies in life.  Goals are goals because they aren’t easy to attain.  Any easily attained goal might as well be called a deadline.

In the process of reaching your goals, things won’t work.  It took my wife and I five different financial systems before we found a structure that allowed us to budget our spending, cut our bills, and put the maximum amount of money towards our mortgage.  Persistence isn’t just a good thing, sometimes it is required!

3. If It Doesn’t Work, Fix It

If your garage door remote doesn’t work for multiple days, then something is probably wrong.  Maybe the batteries need to be changed or the remote needs to be replaced.  The same thing happens with goals and plans.  If the plan just isn’t working, or the goal just can’t be reached, then you may need to alter it or throw it out completely.

When I was 16, I set the goal of being a millionaire by 21.  I failed at that.  I have new goals now, as well as new plans, because that goal was empty, thoughtless, and backed by poor understandings of the world I lived in.  My plan was broken beyond repair so I had to get a new one.

4. Different Remotes for Different Doors

Admit it, you’ve probably tried it.  Maybe I’m just the weird one with a huge curiosity, but I’ve driven down the road pressing my clicker just to see if it would open other doors.  I don’t have ill-intentions, I just think it’s funny, and it would let me know who would have access to my door.

But alas, no one else’s door opened.  Often times, different goals and plans must be accomplished different ways.  Sometimes you’ll get lucky and you can duplicate success with the same methods.  We have to agree though, the same “night before” the test cramming may have worked in college, but that method may just fail you when that deadline at work arrives.

5. Doors Will Eventually Open

This is the most important lesson to learn.  If you sit in your drive way and don’t press the button, what will happen?  Nothing. You have to try, you must press the button if you want the possibility of the door opening.  If it doesn’t work, press the button again.  If it still doesn’t work, mash the button down really fast, over-and-over, and if it still doesn’t work then maybe it just needs to be fixed or replaced.

If you don’t go after your goals and you don’t make plans, then doors won’t open for you.  You need to try, you need persistence, and you need enough flexibility that you can adapt to reach the end result you seek.  If you do it well enough and long enough, then the doors will open.  The only thing worse than a bad plan is no plan.

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