You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” that so many people preach. Is this true?

In this controversial episode of The WTF Podcast, I share with you the results of my years of never setting goals or creating a plan in businesses or life and why I believe most people misinterpret the advice of needing goals and plans.



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Episode Transcript:

Hello and welcome people of the universe. Today I’m continuing with my series on the Misinterpretations of Spirituality. The misinterpretation that we are going to be looking at is, will I fail if I don’t plan or if I don’t have goals? That is the question.

Hi, this is Amir Zoghi. Speaker, coach and aerobatic pilot. I’m on a mission to inspire, move and transform people’s lives. This is the wisdom, truth and freedom podcast where I share mind-blowing insights about spirituality, self-actualization, and transcending those limiting mindsets in order to live an unlimited lifestyle and to make it dent in the universe.

You probably heard the phrase or the quote that “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. So here we are on our journey, always trying to have a plan and you know, through many teachings I’ve heard that you want to have a six month plan or a one week plan or 12-month plan, three years plan. People have got plans even, you know, when they’ve passed on and they’re no longer part of this world and, you know, leaving a legacy of something behind. And I get that. I get it. I get the idea of leaving a legacy and planning for them. However, is that true? Is that statement true? That if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail? I say it’s not, I challenge it. I really do because myself, I’ve been in business for many years.

Well, in excess of 20 years. I’ve got to say, I haven’t always been successful, especially the first three years of business. I was actually on the verge of bankruptcy when I was, when I was a kid kicking-off, you know, a young adult, I should say, not a kid. However, I’ve had great success as well. And when I say great success, you know, I have an amazing lifestyle and, you know, I’m not on the Forbes 500 or whatever. Nor do I intend to be, or is it my desire. It’s to be able to, for me, my decisions have always been made around being able to live this. Live this, meaning the lifestyle that I want to live and being able to be the person that I want to be. And I gotta say, you know, being in business for so long, I have never had a business plan. So, well, that’s a interesting observation and interesting reflection for me to look back on.

So today the misinterpretation that we are going to be looking at is will I fail if I don’t plan or if I don’t have goals? And that is the question. And that is the misinterpretation, that you will fail if you don’t have your goals, you will fail if you don’t plan. I think that’s so true. And this is what I want to talk to you about today. And I’m not saying, you know, there are some genuine lazy people out there and they’re like, “Oh great, I like this podcast because I never want to plan, I never want to have a goal and not have any direction and I don’t even know where I’m going in my life and they want to stay that way. Now I’m not saying that’s wrong necessarily, but I’m just saying, don’t use what I’m saying to feed your lazy mind.

Okay? Because you know what I’m going to share with you is how I’ve never planned. What I’m going to share with you is how I don’t have goals. But I have accomplished a lot of things and I’m willing to work. Don’t get me wrong. Don’t take this and just this part here is just for the person that’s thinking, they’re just lazy and they’re just, you know, “just want to do whatever I want whenever I want. I just want to be able to just sit on the beach and do nothing”. This is not your message. This is not what I’m talking to you about. You may need to go and and have a goal and a plan and work your ass off for all your life. You know? I mean, it’s funny though, it’s interesting I say that I choose lifestyle over, you know, being in the Forbes 500 or whatever. I choose lifestyle over status.

That’s what I’m trying to say for me. I reflect on that because it wasn’t…I haven’t always been like that. I’ve always, you know, as a young adult and being a young entrepreneur and I would pursue status and credibility and the success. The greater wealth if you like. I would pursue that and I just noticed that in pursuing that I would be working my ass off and I would be living very imbalanced. You know, a lot of entrepreneurs talk about that, less sleep is better really. I just thought, you know, having a good, balanced sleep is good. You know, eight hours sleep, eight hours work and eight hours play or spending with your family and doing the things that you like socially. This 24 hours in a day. Wouldn’t it make sense to split it evenly?

It’s an interesting observation I made when I was on that pursue for status and credibility and a great financial platform. What I realized is that here I am working my ass off so that one day I can live this lifestyle that I would see my life, in my eyes, in my mind —that I would enjoy. But what would happen is that once I would reach a financial platform, I would realize that I would require a greater financial platform to make it more stable. So then I would be pursuing the next platform. And when I arrived at that next platform…whether, even with greater status and credibility, that next level of financial stability really required the next level of financial stability in order to ensure that is more stable. So then I would get to that next financial platform of stability.

And then I would realize, well, what if this would happen and this happened? So then I needed the next, you get where I’m going. Right? The point is that throughout my status, throughout my success, throughout the credibility that I was building, I wasn’t able to live the lifestyle that I wanted to live. And if I did, it was very, very momentarily because I had to get busy, you know, building the next platform. So that’s what made me realize that, you know what, it’s about living it now. It’s about choosing to live the lifestyle that you want to live now. And some people go, but I can’t. Oh, but you can. There is just small things. Sure, you gotta work and you gotta run a business. I get it, right? But if you take your focus off this next platform that you need to build and bring it into the process and bring it into appreciating what you have right now and experiencing, you know, that lifestyle that is at your feet right now.

And people might think to themselves, “but I don’t have that lifestyle”. I bet you do. Right? It’s just what happens is that when you have any opportunity in the present moment to stop and be present, to stop and smell the flowers, to stop and take a breath, what you’re doing, you’re too busy thinking about the next platform so you don’t actually get to experience what you have right now. People are always looking at you know, rather than appreciating what they have, they’re looking at what they need to have in order to one day appreciate it. So what I’m trying to say to you here, not to digress too much, is that I realized that I could be working my ass off so I can one day live that or I could be living that now. Not that I’m wouldn’t be working my ass off.

I still work hard, but it was more important for me to live this now. Anyway. I think I have digressed a little bit. So let’s get back into this point. My point is that personally I’ve had no goals. And I continue to not have goals or plans. I appreciate what I have right now. And at the same time I have accomplished a lot of things. Today I am a speaker and coach, which I’ve been doing for many years. I don’t suck at it. I don’t have a plan of where it’s going next. I just feel what I want to do now. Like right now I’m delivering this podcast. That’s what I feel to do. So what I’ve done is I brought the team together and we are, we’ve all met, because my team is from different parts of the world, between two different countries.

And we all met in Thailand. We’ve hired a big Villa and we thought, let’s have a holiday together. And at the same time, I’m going to film these podcasts. Now it’s about my attention is the delivery of this podcast, not what’s going to happen with them. Now, sure they’re going to be put on a podcast, they’re going to be put out there somewhere. But my attention is in what’s happening right now and not what’s going to happen with the outcome and results of this podcast. So personally, I look at this in my life and, and have accomplished so much. But the thing is, I haven’t planned any of that. I haven’t planned. I never planned to become a commercial pilot. For example, I never planned to buy an aviation company. It wasn’t part of the plan. Right? All I did was think, hey, I love flying. And then I would do what’s next in front of me.

Right? If I could see all that I had to do, it could have really scared me because there could be that lazy part of me that would have gone, “Oh, I don’t know if I’m willing to do that”. But I didn’t because I didn’t see the mountain of what has to happen because I didn’t plan for that. So if I’m just in the moment living it, every day in the moment, and I’m still committed — don’t get me wrong, I’m committed to what I’m doing — And the next moment, I found that to be far more effortless. The the times in my, let’s say in my aviation career, where it became difficult was I decided to get my commercial pilot license again. It wasn’t part of a plan. It was a plan that unfolded because I ended up buying an aviation company and I was like, well, wouldn’t it be good idea if I got my commercial pilot license since I’m on the board of an aviation company.

I had the experience, I had to just do seven exams, so I thought, yeah, well I’m going to do these seven exams. That was like, if you plan to do those seven exams, that was a goal to do those seven exams. That was the most difficult part in my journey in the last five years because I had to focus on…these are the things, these are the tasks that I need to do in order to get there. Where within that five years, that was the only time I actually did that. That’s where it became effortful for me. It was just like, Oh, you know, study, study. Next one, study. Then, okay, I’ve got one down six to go, two down five to go. It took a lot of work. So my point is, yes, I haven’t had a plan.

Yes, I haven’t had a goal, but I have accomplished so much. And if I planned, if I tried to plan this five years ago, I don’t think I could have planned it any better. So I’ll give you another example. I’ll give you another story of, you know, in my speaking career, I remember being part of an event where there was a lot of entrepreneurs at this event and I was one of many speakers at this event and many of the speakers were talking about the, “you’ve got to have a plan and you’ve gotta be clear about your goals”. And, I was one of the, I think the second last speaker or maybe the third. No, the second last speaker of this event. And I’m there over days listening to this content and listening to people, you know, talking about, “Hey, you need to have a plan”.

You need to have a goal. And it was generally around that topic and I’m like, wow, well this is going to be interesting what I’m going to talk about. So when I got up, it was time for me to speak. I asked the audience a question and there was like 500 people in this audience and I said to them, “who’s ever here accomplished something that was never a goal? Who’s ever here, you know, experience a plan unfold.That was never their plan, but they found that and this thing that you accomplish or this plan that unfolded, you loved it.” You realize, Oh wow, this is huge. Who’s ever, here, accomplished the goal that they never set as a goal. I’m telling you, almost every single person put their hand up. So I was just like, “soooooo what the? What do you make of that?

You didn’t have a plan to accomplish that. It was never even a goal because you didn’t even think about that as a possibility of something that you would enjoy or you would like. Yet it came into your life without it being part of your goal setting without even making a plan for it and you were pretty pleased, I’m assuming. You need to contemplate that. There is very a very large list of people where they have accomplished something in their life and great things and it was never on their radar. I mean, I meet people who are really enjoying and doing what they do. And I say, well, when did you decide to do this? And they kind of go, well I did and I kind of fell into it and I love it.

I just found myself doing it. So where does that leave you having that realization? You know, does it mean you plan or you don’t? Well, here’s the thing for me, let’s get clear. I plan when it comes to systems and things that are formed. I mean I fly an aircraft for example. Alright, I’m operating systems, a fuel system, maybe navigation, you know that that’s required. So there is a plan that goes into that, but I’m operating a machine. Machines need plans, machines needs systems. Ideas that have been formulated already needs systems to duplicate that. Yes. That’s where a plan is required. Yes. That’s when you gotta be clear and in the direction that you’re going. And even so if I make a flight plan, there is a possibility that that flight plan will change based on the weather and what’s doing. I can forecast things, right?

We can forecast the weather and forecast the winds and we can forecast our speeds and we can forecast our fuel burn. But it may vary a little bit. Okay. And in that scenario there is importance for me to have that plan. Right. There is an importance for me how to clear direction and clear goal that I am intending to fly here and this time I arrive at that time. Okay. But that’s a machine. What I’m talking about is matters of the heart. You can’t plan love. You can’t have a, I mean sure, you might have a goal to fall in love, but you can’t plan that this is how I’m going to do it. Love as you’ve heard me say many times, is something that finds you. It’s not something that you find. All you’re doing is being open to the possibilities. And that’s the biggest thing I get from not having to plan or have any goals is… Because sometimes a goal or a plan limits me. Because my thinking, no matter what we as a human being, we don’t use all our thinking.

Capacity is limited and no matter how much of your thinking capacity you think you use, it’s still limited as a human being. But when I can remove my thinking out of that scenario and be in the moment and live for the moment and show up in the moment, I’m still committed. There is a greater part of myself that I use that has an infinite capacity. There is things that I didn’t even realize I love until It comes into my life. There is people in my life that I didn’t realize I love until they came into my life. You know, it’s these, these are things matters of the heart. You can’t plan that. You can’t plan creativity. If you’re looking for, if you’re an artist and you’re looking to paint something, yes, you can plan. Once you’ve got the sense of creativity, once the source of creativity has come to you, then you go, okay, I’m going to, I plan to do this for the next two days.

I plan to do this for the next three days. And you might have some kind of structure. And even that, you know, at an artist would know, it’s gotta be pretty loose because how many times does a plan go to plan anyway? That’s a real question you want to ask yourself here. So, the essence of the spark of creativity, the moments of love. You can’t, the idea if you’re brainstorming and having, I mean, how many times you’re sitting around a boardroom or, or a brain, you know, mentoring group of some sort and you’re brainstorming an idea maybe with your colleagues and you’ve got the whiteboard out there and everyone’s coming up with ideas. What, when was the best idea ever landed? I’ll tell you, for me personally, the best ideas come from me after I’ve left that boardroom and I’m riding my bicycle or I’m in the shower.

Well, a moment of not even thinking about it necessarily, but I’m doing something else so I’m in the moment. I’m not trying to look for the idea or solution and then the idea and solution rises up from within me, just like a bubble does from deep within the ocean. It just rises up to the surface and it goes pop. It goes pop into my mind. I’m like, “Oh, what a good idea. What a great solution, what a great product.” You see, you can’t plan that. You can’t have a goal sitting around that. Okay, so to be clear, you know, once an idea is formed, you can then probably give that some guidelines. And I don’t even like to call that a plan or guide or a goal. It’s, it’s a very loose guideline. Like for example, I’m here in Thailand, we’re doing these podcasts. We have, you could say, Oh, you have a goal to do six.

We were looking to do six episodes a day. Okay. It’s very loose. You know the subjects that I want to cover right now with you guys has actually diminished a little bit. Because it’s like, Oh, we had like 24 now it’s down to 20 we’re going to be doing less than six a day. I don’t then force and go, “no, Ne said we’re going to do six a day. We’ve got to find 6”. Hey, I could have come here and we only did three podcasts. That’s what it will be. There’s a power just having this net set out in the direction that I’m going. But it’s not concrete, okay? It’s just a…It’s like you’re throwing your fishing net into the ocean and it captures what it captures with the direction that you’re going. So the net for me is always loose, but the point is — that spark of creativity, that moment of love, that moment of possibility, that moment of solution, you can’t plan that even if you tried because your brain capacity is limited.

What you need to do is get your brain out of the way, you’re thinking out of the way. You know, I always always say this…I ask myself a question. Like if I’m looking for something, you know, I’m looking for a moment of creativity, a solution, even a moment of reflection and pondering. I ask myself a question. But I don’t look for the answer from the place I asked myself the question from. Because I didn’t know the answer. All I do is, I let go and let the answer be realized wherever it’s realized. It could be a moment later, it could be moments later. So I ask myself the question, but I don’t look for the answer from the place that I asked myself the question from. Okay? The answer comes from a different place. I use my thinking to pose the question, but I don’t use my thinking to look for the solution or for the answer to my question.

Here’s the thing, the answer to your question, you already know. All you’re doing is posing the question, throwing the nets into the ocean, and letting that little bubble rise from deep within the ocean and it goes pop and you didn’t even know where it comes from. I mean, think about it. Anyone who’s ever into solutions and possibilities and great ideas and great creativity —where the hell the did those ideas come from? Where did that source of content or possibilities or inspiration come from? It came from, you can’t explain it. I mean sure, there’s a part of you that takes credit for it and it goes, “I came up with that”. Did you? I mean it’s like a bubble that rose from deep within the ocean and as the bubble rises to the surface of the ocean, it just goes pop. That’s the same experience.

It goes pop into your mind and you’re like, “wow, what a great…” If you even were even or alert or aware of that process, you realize you didn’t come up with that. It came to you, it came through you, but you didn’t come up with it. The question, posing the question and going, “what solution do we have here? What idea do am I looking for here?” And then you didn’t actually look for the answer in that same place that you asked the question from. So to wrap this podcast up of “will I fail if I don’t plan or if I don’t have goals?” Well, no, you won’t. In fact, your greatest solutions and possibilities and your greatest accomplishments, your greatest realizations have always come from when you have let go of the plan and the goal. Okay? How many times did the plan not go to plan?

And then you kind of loosened your grip a bit. You kind of got yourself out of the way and then you just find it go bang, bang, bang. So my friends, there’s a difference between making a plan and a plan unfolding through you. Don’t confuse what I’m saying. I came to Thailand, I’m here on this trip. I made a plan, I scheduled a flight. Okay? That’s just the day-to-day stuff. But your greatest inspiration, your greatest sense of creativity, the greatest possibilities that you’re looking for…they’re ain’t coming through your thinking. Your thinking is just posing the question. Ask smart and intelligent questions, don’t look for that answer from that place that you asked the question from. Because you don’t have the answer there. That’s why you asked the question because you didn’t know the answer. Now here’s the thing, the answer, the sense of possibilities, that sense of creativity is already there, but you need to let go of trying to find the answer from where you ask the question from.

You just pose the question, but then you gotta let go. And what do you let go do? Just be in the moment. Could come tomorrow, could come a moment later, but what I can promise you is that the answer that you’re looking for, you wouldn’t know what the question is, unless you already knew what the answer is. You won’t even know how to pose the question unless you knew what the answer was. So what I’m trying to say, there is a part of you that has already realized, that already knows that answer before you even asked the question. But what you’re going to do is pose the question and let go of trying to find the answer from the same place you ask the question from. All you gotta do is pose the question.

That’s our podcast for today. I hope this a lot there to ponder and think about, see you next time.


If you’d like to dive deeper on learning how you can finally start living and doing what you truly love in like, watch The WTF?! Experience, my transformational foundation program. It’s free right now and streaming online. Click here to get your access.

Amir Zoghi