“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is the sort of expression that people definitely tend to use quite a lot. What does it exactly refer to? In what contexts can you use it? And where does it come from? This article will answer these questions.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is a phrase that means exactly what it seems like it means. If you do not plan for something, you’re actually planning to fail that precise thing, unknowingly. It may seem paradoxical, but it’s true.
By failing to plan for a situation, you’re basically guaranteeing that you will fail that situation, because you didn’t plan for it. Therefore, you should plan for situations.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is an expression that can actually be applied to a large range of different situations, and is therefore worth learning about. Here are some example sentences that will help you memorize how to use this expression:
- You should pack your bag a few days beforehand, because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
- If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, which is why we’re working on this code this evening.
- If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, and that’s what I’ve been trying to work through this week.
- If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so we should touch base and decide what we’re going to do.
- If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so let’s decide what bible verses we’re going to read tonight.
- If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so that evening we got to work on the plan for the meeting.
- If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so I told her to draft up a list of all our pending work for that day.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is as far as we know a phrase that was first said by Benjamin Franklin, who said the phrase several centuries ago. We don’t know where the context of the phrase comes from, but he’s the originator of the idea.
There are many ways in the English language to express the core idea behind “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Here are some synonym phrases that can help you express the same sentiment utilizing different words:
- If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.
- By not planning, you’re ensuring your failure.
- It’s not going to go well if you don’t plan ahead first.
- By planning ahead first, you can ensure victory.
- If you don’t plan you’re going to fail.
Believe it or not, people often use “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” in incorrect ways.
It’s the sort of phrase that can sometimes be misunderstood if you haven’t seen it enough times, and there are several ways in which you can use it incorrectly.
For example, people will use this phrase to talk about whether a given plan is good or not. The truth is that this phrase doesn’t actually talk about the quality of a plan or idea.
Instead, the phrase talks about how if you don’t plan, you’re going to fail, but it’s not a phrase that should be applied to judge the merits of an individual plan.
This is the sort of phrase that can very easily be used to warn someone that they should plan ahead. Maybe someone that you know is not planning on creating a plan, and in that situation you can easily use this phrase to talk about how they should plan.
You can also use this phrase to emphasize the fact that making a plan is important, by talking about your own experiences creating plans that work.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.