Art of Planning


SMF: Is it essential for people to always have a plan? What is the result of too ambitious a plan?

Taking your question literally, the answer would be “no” — it is not always essential. Some people are highly successful and productive based primarily on their intuition. For them, a plan proposed to improve their efficiency may actually reduce their productivity to zero because they feel stifled and unable to follow their creative urge. On the other hand, when a person is “stuck,” unproductive, sad, or worse, they must find a plan to get out of that state of affairs and to not fall back in again. Of course, a plan that is too ambitious will generally exacerbate the negative situation instead of helping.

Another place where it is essential not to plan is when trying to improve intimacy and passion between spouses. When everything is laid out clearly — like a travel agent’s itinerary – passion will die. Part of generating love is doing something for a spouse because you think they will like it, even though you didn’t get an OK and they never asked for it. It is the suspense and surprise that creates the excitement and the subsequent passion. In addition, the very fact that you are not afraid of what will happen if it flops engenders feelings of trust. Of course, if a marriage is on the rocks, wild surprises may not be the place to begin with. But, you know, in some cases, it is actually the best place to start.

About Shimon Brodie

Rabbi Shimon Brodie, born and bred in the United States, has been learning and teaching Torah in Israel for close to thirty years. Currently serving as a mashgiach at Yeshivat Ruach Chaim, he maintains a practice as a life coach and marriage educator. Trained as a strategic interventionist, he places a great emphasis on creating new options and out-of-the-box solutions and achieving concrete change as quickly as possible. Perhaps one of the most unique facets of his approach to couples is that in many instances he works primarily with each partner separately. This approach allows him to welcome situations in which only one partner is interested in the coaching process. You can sample some of Rabbi Brodie's resources at and he can be contacted directly at
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