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11. To-Dude List: Failing to Plan, is Planning to Fail? Nope

Updated: Jan 16

Image by Adina Voicu

This cat's working off his To-Dude list...


Having been a salesman for many years I used to hate these kinds of sayings "Failing to plan, is planning to fail" and "If you throw enough mud at a wall some of it sticks", meaning if you work hard enough at something you are sure to see some benefit, sooner or later.

Spoken by dumb-arsed managers who want to sound like they know something.


If you throw enough mud at the wall will some of it stick? Not if what you are doing is wrong.  Doing more of that won't make it any less wrong. 


And this one that talks about planning.  Planning can get very un-dude.  It can become super-complicated, and ultra-expectant.  You see, planning takes away one of the fundamental good things about life, something a Dude is aware of; the space for magic to occur.

"...this is where shit begins to happen."

Don't Overlook the Magic, What?


Yes, magic occurs when you are aware of the flow.


How can you go with the flow if you are dictating how it should be? 

How will you ever be surprised by life if you try forcing it to fit within your particular expectations? 

Surprise is magic. 

Not the sort David Copperfield does but what life throws your way if you get your big-headed ego out of its path and stop trying to influence it.


As the Dude de Jing says "Draw a line in the sand, toes will slip over the line".


When toes slip over the line, things become tricky.  Someone gets bent out of shape.  You've crossed a line you shouldn't have.


And the more you nail down your planning, the more lines you give yourself and others.


And this is where shit begins to happen.

The To-Dude List

The Dude doesn't need to plan.  The Dude has a to-Dude list.  And that's a schedule without any to-do's on it.  Well, not real ones.


A friend once said, "if you need a To-do list, you've got too much to do."


And she was right.


Many years ago, I didn't have the time to write my damned To-do list.  There was simply too much to put on it.  I had it in priority order, urgency order, matched against when I was most switched on during the day, and I never forgot stuff.  Did it make me better at doing my job?


Nope.  It made me better at writing To-Do lists.


And now, I'm better at writing To-Dude lists.


It's taken me some time.  Several years.  I left a well-paid job that I had for ten years and could have easily stayed at until I retired.  But it took up all my time, and most of my energy.


But now I've halved my work hours and ditched the most demanding stressful clients, and I get to choose the hours I work so that I can take afternoons off and just chill if I want. Or spend more time with my kids.

Business Guru Crap

And I see it with my customers, they are being told (by business gurus) how to plan this, how to do that, how to be proactive, and how to make the most of every second of their day. All the overachieving bullshit that has been around for a hundred years and repackaged like it means something new. 

Okay, so some people haven't heard it before and that's fine and dandy.  But when they ask me, they think I'm joking when I say, I don't plan anything, and I don't market myself.


All this business guru crap is usually by people who have failed at something else. 

Those that have made their success and have money dripping from every pore can't be arsed doing more work and especially for the pittance that a business course will give them.  Still, people lap it up like it's amazing.  And I don't say much.  Seen it all before, been through it, tried it, - times are changing man, and much of that shit doesn't stand. 

And I know that I sound like an old dog, but there's another way, the Dude way.  So, back to planning (or not)...

The Dude Way

The Dude has experienced life without plans, and he knows that stuff still gets done.  And in fact, the Dude sees that it seems to get done better.  She spends less time planning and just does what feels right in the moment.


And without getting too Eckhart Tolle here, in doing that, the Dude leaves lots of space for life to work its magic, and it all gets done.  And this is how the Dude seems not to be doing much.  


If you are one of these folks like I was, planning, filling life with tonnes of shit to do just to feel like I had a full life, grabbing this success, hoping for that, taking on board this new project, joining that new committee, being the one that sticks his knob on the line for others to cut off - listen up...


Only you can change it.


If you are reading these posts, or dipping your toes into the great flowing river of Dudeism, and thinking, yes, like, I want to chill out, I want to switch off, I want to not be bothered by this shit but how can I?  I have a family, I have a job, I have credit card debt, I have rent to pay, mortgages to pay, staff to employ, family to support, yadda yadda yadda.


Yes, me too. 

Join the club. 

But I wanted out of it, and I got out.  And I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying it's easier, and for sure, it's better.

And I'm saying it can be done.

If the intent is there then it can be done. It may take time but your future self will be glad of it.


Only you can change it.

The Dude's One-step Method

Rather than planning to change it.  Take one step.  Only one...


Whatever that step is, maybe today, instead of working your nuts off, you are going to take that free time you've been promising yourself, or that full lunch break sat in the park, doing whatever.  Take that step.


Then, another step will appear.


Somehow, if you leave space in your day for the next step, then it will follow the first. 

Maybe the next day, you get out of the office and walk around the block.  Maybe not the life-changing big deal you were hoping to make, but who will you meet, what sign will you see on that shop window, what creative thoughts will come while munching on an avocado salad wrap and watching the pigeons pecking at crumbs?


It's in the little steps where the magic comes.  Don't wait around for the big shit to happen.  The big shit can't occur unless you make the next step.


The Dude knows this.  The Dude lives this.  So, today, get yourself a To-Dude list.  It will look something like this:


Remember to take a 15-minute coffee break in the morning, and TAKE IT

Walk aimlessly around the block at lunchtime for no reason at all



Try 10 different ways of reclining on the sofa.  Can you find a cosier way of relaxing?



Potter into a bookstore without the intention to buy and see what happens.


You get the drift...


Go and Dude it.


Signing out until next time.

Rev. Thomo.


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