Making plans and following them is important. We need to know where we are going and keep this destination in mind. The psychologist Fitzurgh Dodson echoed many other writers when he said, ‘Without goals and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.’
While this is certainly good advice, we also need to ensure we sail with the wind, not against it, and this requires a sensitivity to the current situation and how it is changing. Sometimes we need to take down the sails to avoid getting blown off course, but at other times, an unexpected wind can take us on wonderful new adventures, and bring success and fulfillment. Some of the most useful things have come about accidentally – penicillin, Viagra, X-rays, brandy, to name but a few. None of these things would have been developed if people had refused to follow a new and unanticipated direction. Indeed, creativity usually requires a willingness to be open to novelty and innovation.