and how to plan for life.
I have always loved the Benjamin Franklin quote, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” and I could easily be accused of overusing it both at work and at home — by my kids in particular. I am, it goes without saying, a planner. I’m less interested in the nitty-gritty, day-to-day details, but rather, invested in stretched, long term planning. I have ten life goals across different categories that I am committed to achieving by taking regular, incremental and meaningful steps every single day. All this planning exists in one place — the Life Plan.
The Life Plan is one of the central tools of Omnipreneurship, a holistic and organized approach that integrates everything we care about to live a life of meaning. Omnipreneurship combines three principles of Giving, Earning and Sustaining with a set of five values and ten rules and is an approach that can help the individual, the organization and the community realize their goals, create impact and contribute to the greater good.
The Life Plan is a tool that represents the first rule of Omnipreneurship “I Aim Therefore, I Am”, which calls for defining measurable, timely and soaring finish lines to create the right kind of pressure — what I call the purifying pressure — to deliver results. Each category has one Life Goal, two mid-term 2020 goals and three annual goals that contribute to the larger goal. It’s quite prescriptive (which we consider a key strength), and it has a complementary flexibility built into it, allowing for a total Life Plan refresh at the end of each year. I believe in the power of the Life Plan as it represents something of a blueprint for your future and a guide to ensuring that you are present and mindful of all that needs to be achieved.
The biggest indication that the Life Plan is relevant and needed is people’s reactions to it, ranging from the ecstatic to the traumatic. There are those who see it as a source of motivation; a place where they can bring their dreams down from the realm of the esoteric to the practical and the possible. I’ve seen people commit themselves to hugely ambitious Life Goals and come out feeling exhilarated and empowered, eager to start with the annual goals to kick off the process.
Understandably, and perhaps where the real challenge lies, are the skeptics who question the notion of planning, who wave the flag of spontaneity and the unknown and critique the Life Plan for being unrealistic. What if I fail to achieve it? What if I want to change my Life Goals? What if I want to live free as a bird and simply blown by the wind? The good news is that if we fail to achieve our dreams there is no penalty and won’t be thrown in jail. When it comes to changing one’s goals, growing and evolving — the Life Plan is alive — needing to be refreshed annually. And finally, for those who want to remain free — we have seen that you can indeed be blowing in the wind while achieving your dreams at the same time.
At Al-Dabbagh Group, our family business, we require everyone to have their own Life Plan that they’re accountable for and that is tied to their bonus schemes. We’ve seen colleagues flourish when asked to focus on delivering results outside their work responsibilities; when we ask them to commit to exercising daily for their Health category or visiting a family member each month as part of their Family category — they see our investment goes beyond the metrics of professional success. They see that we want to have people leading balanced and meaningful lives working with us to build a better world.
In my own Life Plan, my goal for Recreation is to power walk 100 of the most interesting cities in the world. On business trips, I encourage colleagues traveling with me to come on these power walks — we share the mindful practice of walking and we work on achieving our Health goals together. And last but not least, they force me to up my game and walk faster!
To download your own Life Plan and buy a copy of “Omnipreneurship” please visit: amraldabbagh.com
Amr Al-Dabbagh is CEO of the Al-Dabbagh Group, which operates 62 companies in 60 countries employing over 15,000 men and women around the world. Follow him on Twitter at @theomnipreneur and buy his book, Omnipreneurship, now available for Kindle and in hardback on Amazon.
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