Quotations about   plan

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God only knows, God makes his plan,
The information’s unavailable to the mortal man.
We’re working our jobs, collect our pay,
Believe we’re gliding down the highway
When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away.

Paul Simon (b. 1941) American musician, singer-songwriter.
“Slip Slidin’ Away” (1977)
Added on 13-Feb-17 | Last updated 13-Feb-17
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So I didn’t have a plan. I did, as I stood there, start to get seeds of what might, sometime, become a vague step generally in the direction of an intention. I may be stating that too strongly.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
Issola (2001)
Added on 2-Sep-16 | Last updated 2-Sep-16
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Let the Care of one’s business be committed but to one Person; for otherwise, besides Disagreement which may arise when Account is taken, everyone’s Answer is, That he thought others had done it.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, #1072 (1731)
Added on 21-Dec-15 | Last updated 21-Dec-15
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Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

Earl Nightingale (1921-1989) American motivational speaker, writer, radio personality
(Attributed)
Added on 26-Aug-15 | Last updated 26-Aug-15
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Any damned fool can write a plan. It’s the execution that gets you all screwed up.

James F. "Jim" Hollingsworth (1918-2010) American military commander
(Attributed)
    (Source)

In Harry G. Summers, Jr., On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War, ch. 4 (1982).
Added on 21-Jul-15 | Last updated 21-Jul-15
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We haven’t got a plan, so nothing can go wrong!

Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan (1918-2002) Anglo-Irish comedian, writer, actor
(Attributed)

Variants:
  • "We don't have a plan, so nothing can go wrong!"
  • "We haven't any plan, so nothing can go wrong!"
Added on 16-Jul-15 | Last updated 16-Jul-15
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Ensure that both plan and dispositions are flexible — adaptable to circumstances. Your plan should foresee and provide for a next step in case of success or failure.

B. H. Liddell Hart (1895-1970) English soldier, military historian (Basil Henry Liddell Hart)
Strategy, ch. 20 (1954)
Added on 14-Jul-15 | Last updated 14-Jul-15
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[The commander] must always think and plan two battles ahead — the one he is prepared to fight and the next one — so that the success gained in one battle can be used as a springboard for the next.

Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976) British military leader
The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery, ch. 6 (1958)
Added on 7-Jul-15 | Last updated 7-Jul-15
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What makes a plan capable of producing results is the commitment of key people to work on specific tasks.

Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005) Austrian-American business consultant
Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, ch. 8 (1977 ed.)
Added on 30-Jun-15 | Last updated 24-Jun-15
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The man who sticks to his plan will become what he used to want to be.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten Second Essays, #349 (2001)
Added on 11-Jun-15 | Last updated 11-Jun-15
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Deliberate with caution, but act with decision; and yield with graciousness, or oppose with firmness.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #284 (1821 ed.)
Added on 4-May-15 | Last updated 4-May-15
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One thing that’s good about procrastination is that you always have something planned for tomorrow.

G. B. Stern (1890-1973) British writer [Gladys Bronwyn Stern]
(Attributed)
Added on 27-Apr-15 | Last updated 27-Apr-15
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In military operations what is done openly and by force is much less than what is done by stratagem and the use of opportunity.

Polybius (203?-120 BC) Greek historian
Histories, 9.12 [tr. Paton (1925)]
Added on 2-Oct-14 | Last updated 2-Oct-14
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The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

Other Authors and Sources
Chinese proverb
Added on 9-Jul-14 | Last updated 9-Jul-14
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    “So you’re not one hundred percent clear on this?” said Aziraphale.
    “It’s not given to us to understand the ineffable Plan,” said the Metatron, “but of course the Great Plan –”
    “But the Great Plan can only be a tiny part of the overall ineffability,” said Crowley. “You can’t be certain that what’s happening right now isn’t exactly right, from an ineffable point of view.”
    “It izz written!” bellowed Beelzebub.
    “But it might be written differently somewhere else,” said Crowley. “Where you can’t read it.”
    “In bigger letters,” said Aziraphale.
    “Underlined,” Crowley added.
    “Twice,” suggested Aziraphale.
    “Perhaps this isn’t just a test of the world,” said Crowley. “It might be a test of you people, too. Hmm?”
    “God does not play games with His loyal servants,” said the Metatron, but in a worried tone of voice.
    “Whooo-eee,” said Crowley. “Where have you been?”

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
Good Omens [with Terry Pratchett] (1990)
Added on 5-Jun-14 | Last updated 5-Jun-14
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The world moves into the future as a result of decisions, not as a result of plans. Plans are significant only insofar as they affect decisions.

Kenneth Ewart Boulding (1910-1993) American economist, educator, poet, philosopher
Toward a General Social Science, ch. 1 (1974)
Added on 9-Dec-13 | Last updated 9-Dec-13
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The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfills Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) English poet
Idylls of the King, “The Passing of Arthur” (1859-1885)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Oct-10 | Last updated 14-Jul-15
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I tell this story to illustrate the truth of the statement I heard long ago in the Army: Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Speech, National Defense Executive Reserve Conference (14 Nov 1957)

Quoted in R. Nixon, Six Crises, "Krushchev" (1962) as "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." Sometimes paraphrased as "Plans are nothing; planning is everything."

Added on 3-Aug-10 | Last updated 25-Jun-15
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The tactical result of an engagement forms the base for new strategic decisions because victory or defeat in a battle changes the situation to such a degree that no human acumen is able to see beyond the first battle. In this sense one should understand Napoleon’s saying: “I have never had a plan of operations.” Therefore no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.

Helmuth von Moltke (1800-1891) Prussian soldier
“On Strategy” (1871)

Translated in Daniel J. Hughes, Harry Bell, Moltke on the Art of War: Selected Writings (1993).

Paraphrases / variants:

  • "No plan survives contact with the enemy."
  • "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy."
Added on 15-Jan-10 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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