I saw a story on the news this morning about people’s water pipes freezing and bursting because of the extreme temperatures, flooding kitchens, bathrooms and the storerooms of local businesses. The result was property damage, insurance claims and lost sales.
I feel for these people, no doubt, but I also wondered: couldn’t some of that have been avoided with a little planning?
Winter comes every year. And if you live in an area that usually gets freezing temperatures, you know what can happen if your water pipes freeze.
Every year, I shut off exterior water valves in my home, I have my in-ground sprinklers blown out and I clean my gutters to avoid ice dams. I’ve considered insulating my water supply pipes (and probably should, to make them more efficient), but since none are in exterior walls where they could freeze I figure I am safe. If the house is cold enough for the pipes to freeze it means my family is ice cubes, too.
What I am driving at is simple: planning. Most of our success – in work, family or fun – comes from preparation and anticipating what may happen in a given situation to drive toward the desired outcome. Our chances of avoiding disaster rise dramatically when we think through the possibilities of what the universe will do if we don’t intervene. Then all we have to do is devise a plan to arrive at a different destination and execute a plan to get there.
The alternative is waiting – and hoping – for a good result. When it doesn’t come, we’re left to mopping up the damage we have allowed to happen through our inaction.