Tuesday, August 25, 2009

plan vs. scheme

I noticed something recently, and it's the difference between people who "plan" and people who "scheme." Plans usually take longer, accomplish less, and are worked on quietly and steadily, without fanfare. Schemes are far more intriguing and usually fail far more spectacularly.

I don't remember the (no doubt riveting) story of when I first noticed this -- I think I was wondering why something sounded preposterous and then comparing it to some long boring years of hard work that I had read about some successful person doing -- but realizing that there is a difference, that a difference exists, is key. Probably everyone in the world has secretly already known about this all along, but for me it's shiny and new.

I thought about it again last night while watching Julie & Julia. Julia Child spent years studying French cooking at the world's most famous cooking school. Then almost a decade more writing and testing recipes. Julie, on the other hand, spent a year following recipes. Both are awesome, but I would say that "I'll make 10 recipes a week for a year and blog about it" comes under the heading of "crazy and wonderful scheme" whereas, "I'll go to cooking school" would be more a "tediously dull plan."

The fact that a movie depicts the plan only incidentally to the scheme says pretty much everything about how much more we love schemes. I would very much like to say I'm into cultivating this "planning" thing. But I don't know; schemes are so deliciously tempting.

No comments: