So, let’s see, where was I? “Charting the right course,” that’s it. I ended my last post with that seemingly-dull platitude, but I realized I hadn’t fully articulated that idea. Here we go.

The more I work building tiny things in a very forbidding environment, the more I value planning and preparation. Bah, here we go into platitude country again. Let me try again: you can’t do good work on a bad foundation. That’s better. Yeah, let’s run with that analogy.

Let’s say you’re a general contractor, and you know your materials and your workers. You know how to get a roof put on exactly right, how to find the best workers to pour (or, assemble from precast concrete) a crack-free foundation. You know where to put conduits so the house can be modified in the future. You who to call to get drywall finished to level 5 awesomeness. So, you get called in at the beginning of a job. “Build a house here,” they say. “But I can’t! That’s a, well it’s a swamp.” “I told the property owner we could do it, so do it.” “Umm.”

Doesn’t matter how nice you make that foundation, or the great things you build on top—if conditions were poorly chosen for the task (building a house), all of your hard work will be wasted. You’ll blow huge amounts of effort and time trying to make it work. The thing was doomed from the start.

On a smaller scale, it’s like asking the area’s best tile layer to redo your shower even though your studs are rotting behind it. The work won’t last! You’ll be disappointed, he’ll be irate. Plan it first!

So, when I say “charting the right course”—this is what I mean. I’m so confident this idea applies to all areas of life, I’ll put it in a blockquote:

Plan twice as much as you work.

Otherwise, you’ll lose confidence, and waste everyone’s time.

Brief Notes Nearby