I was recently watching a series on Netflix called The Spy. It’s based on the life of Israeli spy Eli Cohen and it’s a riveting, suspenseful series — but this post is about a quote within the movie that I found particularly interesting about plans and making mistakes.
The following line is uttered by Eli’s handler Dan Peleg (played by Noah Emmerich) after an event goes a bit off the rails and Dan’s division supervisor is upset about Eli making errors by not following orders:
Just because it’s not part of the plan, doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.
The words rung so true that I grabbed my phone and saved the quote so I could share it with you here.
Think about all the times you’ve had a plan for how things were supposed to go. The workday agenda you had planned goes out the window less than 15 minutes after you walk in the office. Your travel plans get derailed when a flight leaves later than scheduled and creates a domino effect for all your other connecting flights and reservations. Your plans for a relaxing weekend get nixed because you noticed a large crack in your basement wall that wasn’t there the last time you looked.
Once you start thinking about it, it seems way more common for things to not go according to plan!
In the long run, it’s rarely an entirely “horrible” thing when your plans go awry.
Frequently these plan “revisions” offer an opportunity to experience a little adventure — like routing a connecting flight through a layover at an interesting side-destination — or getting a jump on a potentially larger issue like repairing a foundation wall before your houses collapses!
It’s easy to get frustrated or angry when your plans don’t go the way you envisioned them, but keep your mind open to the big picture and what those changes might make possible in the long run.
It might not be part of the plan — but perhaps there are new advantages that have been revealed because of the changes you encountered.