The Difference between an Idea and a Plan

the difference between an idea and a plan

There are a lot of people with a lot of great ideas out there. Unfortunately too many don’t know the difference between an idea and a plan, and it makes a world of difference.

Free Floating Ideas

Spending time on Twitter means being barraged with a long series of ideas. There are all kinds of great, horrible, inspired, and truly detestable ideas.

Many of the ideas are great, like this one:

Wouldn’t it be better if it were more affordable to travel by mass transit than by car? What a great way to use less energy!

It’s a great idea, but this person needs to understand the difference between an idea and a plan. It’s one thing to think something up. We all pretty much do that every day. It’s quite another to draw it up and figure out how it would work.

Of course, there are those that really don’t want to do either.

Problems Over Solutions

There is another type of person out there. They may not disagree with the idea in theory, but instead of either helping find a plan or coming up with a different solution, they simply find problems.

It’s one thing to not understand how to make an idea happen. It’s another thing to shoot it down all together. Every good idea throughout history someone has said it couldn’t be done: the moon landing, electricity, electric cars, and more.

There are those who would want to use this post to discount its ideals. Those people are part of the problem. Making sure everyone has a home, has food, and escapes the dangers of climate change should be a goal for all of us. If your position is just to discount good ideas instead of find a way to fix problems, you not only don’t have a plan; you also lack ideas.

The difference between an idea and a plan isn’t the difference between a wrong idea and a right one. If an idea sounds good, then the best approach is not to discount it, but to figure out how it can be done.

Having a Plan

The fact is we need to do something. A quarter of Bangladesh flooded in July and millions lost everything. The poorest people in the world are the first ones to deal with our inability to do better.

That’s why we need to know the difference between an idea and a plan. It’s one thing to have an idea, but throwing an idea into the wind doesn’t solve anything. We need a plan. We need concrete steps we can take to move us forward.

So if you have ideas on how to make the world better, share them. At the same time, before you do, think them through. Come up with a simple plan on how we can make them happen. It doesn’t have to be complete – it just needs to have steps that people can work on to move it forward.

It’s one thing to say “be healthy”. It’s another thing to say, “focus on drinking only water, eating at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and enjoying 15 minutes of exercise daily even if it’s just a walk.” Concrete steps give something for people to latch onto and make it easier to get things done.

The difference between an idea and a plan is simple: You can’t make an idea happen without a plan. Get used to making them, even if they are as simple as one sentence to tell you how to be healthy. The more we plan how to change the world, the more we do.

David Bishop

David is CEO of Cedowin Productions, dedicated to helping you live your best life through positive habits. He has inspired tens of thousands to improve habits and communication through books, articles, workshops, and apps. He is the creator of AweVenture, helping families enjoy fantastic, active experiences and Zombie Goals, literally making building healthy habits a game. He’s authored several books including How to Create Amazing Presentations, 7 Steps to Better Relationships, and The Man in the Pit, which helps people who have loved ones struggling with depression.

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