A plan is better than auto-pilot

I finished reading The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose by Chris Wilson. It’s one of the most inspiring books I’ve read and immediately became one of my favorites. While in prison with a life sentence, Chris (the author) created a master plan for his life and used that master plan to motivate him to do amazing things that changed the lives of those around him and his own. His work ethic and eventual success are inspiring. He was motivated.

Which has me asking, what motivates me? What makes me excited to wake up in the morning? When I open my laptop, check my email, or meet with someone, what are my hopes? Am I motivated by a compelling vision of the future, or am I just going through the motions of what I’m supposed to do, on auto-pilot?

If I’m honest, I’m usually motivated by some vision, mixed in with a bit of auto-pilot. I know where I want to go. I can see the things I want to do. But at times, the steps to get there aren’t obvious, and auto-pilot takes over. It’s like those moments when there is real work to do, but I get lost in pointless emailing instead.

I learned from Chris that the best way to combat life’s auto-pilot is to detail out a vision for the future. Then, break down the path to that future into steps, create a plan and keep that plan in front of you to keep forward momentum.

When Chris was sentenced to life in prison, he could have gone on auto-pilot, just serving his time, wasting his life, but he didn’t. He took the time to envision something bigger and better. He made a plan for how he would get there. He kept that plan in front of him and worked it day after day. And in the end, he made a significant impact on the world. That’s how I want to live as well, how about you?