Are You a Victim of Paralysis by Analysis.
Some of my readers know that one of the jobs I held over the years was that of a military planner.
Strangely enough, it was the highest paid job I ever held and one of the ones I felt least comfortable doing. I had to plan multi-million dollar multi-year budgets without knowing what our allocation from the empire would be for those years, revise plans that called for accommodating 400,000 refugees in bed space for 40,000 … cozy .. and plan for equipment to be sent places over a 30 day period, broken down into pallets per outbound flight when only 7 days of fuel were on hand … no way of knowing how the flights on days 8 through 30 were going to take off, but planning for planning’s sake was the name of the game.
Talk about being a highly paid writer of fiction!
George Patton, one of the better generals our country ever produced is credited with two famous quotes involving plans:
- “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy” (actually this comes from Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, often known as Moltke the Elder)
- “A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week.” (translated into civilian-speak this might say, “Do it now, while you still can”)
Recently I came across a great article from Paul Thompson on the RAO Subic website, and Paul has graciously given me permission to re-post it. I decided to repost this article today because our friend Paul has been temporarily knocked out of action by some medical issues, (which I am sure he didn’t plan for) .
Also because I’ve written several times lately about the Paralysis by Analysis syndrome that affects so many, and Paul makes some good points here.
Also, since less that one percent of US citizens now serve their country in the military, many may be unfamiliar with the RAO. RAO Subic Bay is an Independent Retired Activities Coordination Office which provides vital services to U.S. military retirees living in this area.
Even if you aren’t military you would do well to visit their websites as there is a lot of valuable ‘living in the Philippines’ information there, disseminated by folks who have been actually living in the Philippines, rather than talking about living in the Philippines, for many years now.
Anyway, Paul’s article, thanks again Paul and thanks to all the RAO folks everywhere in the Philippines and around the world and to the folks they serve, my brothers and sisters in arms, all day and every day.
June 29, 2009
Paul Thompson, SHCS, USN, (ret.)
So it’s July and on the 13th I’ll turn 62. Who would have thunk it, that I would have made it to 62. When I enlisted in the Navy in 1964 for four years only, my plan was to get out and make it big or at least get out. At the end of my time with a short timer’s chain in my pocket, CWO3 Frank Elkins ask me what were my plans? Scratching my head I said damn if I know. He pointed out that the ship (USS Alstede AF-48) was heading to the Med. A week after I was to be discharged, and it was summer time and I could get $3,000.00 and have two weeks leave in Spain (Palma) for just signing up for 4 more years. Sounded like a good deal to me, there I was back on the ship, broke and heading towards retirement.
So then its retirement time and I was down in Puerto Rico, and decided I needed a year off prior to returning to the work-a-day world. The year went by quickly and I found myself in Europe selling Encyclopedias’ from Scotland to Italy. Easy job, and sold three sets a week and made $2,100.00 tax free each week. I could have sold more but why bother I was making enough to party on. Then winter set in and I quit and went back to Puerto Rico, because warm is good. Thank God I kept the Condo in Playa Azule!
So a few months after I was back, I was on the beach having cocktails, thinking about happy hour which started a 3pm when the daily rain storm starts. So with a few Cuba Libras’ under my belt (or shorts) I loaded up my Boom box and cooler on my American Flyer red wagon and headed to my friend’s watering hole (Rascal’s Pub Luquillo Beach). On the way there I saw the Old Dona who sold the Lottery Tickets every day, and gave her my last three dollars for my donation to the cause. (I ran a tab at my friends bar) The next day I check the numbers and found I won $25,000.00. And its tax free in Puerto Rico, ya gotta’ love it! So I did just what any retired sailor would do, opened a bar!
So then along came Hurricane Hugo and I went from Hero to Zero in 24 hours, bar underwater, house under more water, and the condo wind damaged . Fly to the states and apply to Military Sealift Command, First Ship USNS Mars T-AFS-1 and we pull in to Manila, went to Olongapo with a friend and met his wife’s sister, and that’s why I choose to live here.
So my point is, I feel bad, and the reason is, I never made a plan. I just enjoyed each day and waited to see what would happen the next day. Correction, I made plans every day in my working life, hell the Navy and MSC kind of required it. But my personal life, I just let unfold and adjusted when I needed to. (Ask any of the X-wife’s) Quote of the day: Divorce is when you’re in the mood to buy a new house.
So that is why I choose to live in the Philippines, because plans are a violation of the law here. It just isn’t done, highly frowned upon. Yet after all that, I do have a plan for today after I finish typing this dribble, I plan to have a cocktail and listen to Country Music. Isn’t that why we all choose to live here, and those who don’t, wish they did! Don’t even try to stop the carnival, viva la fiesta.
Get well soon, Paul, we miss ya buddy. And for the rest of you,
Plan if you must but be damn aware of falling victim to Paralysis by Analysis.