Planning for future events is a central plank of UK economic policy. Insurance, saving, and education are all predicated on future security and happiness. But does the cost of planning the future destroy mental health in the present?

Life Plan

Government, parents and teachers have, in general, a common conviction. Citizens, children and pupils need to plan for the future. For those who are not planners by nature, such statements can feel stressful. They can create unnecessary pressure on how people live life each day.

Over planning

Are mental health issues caused by not planning? Or does planning the future in fine detail cause mental health issues? There are no answers at the time of writing.

These are hypocritical questions. Business schools and self-claimed gurus espouse the benefits of business plans. It is important to remember that they have skin in the game. They make their money from teaching business plan formulas.

Planning is not a bad thing to do. Plans are also not crystal balls. The best plans do not know what the future will bring. Newspapers and television news was all-powerful in 2000. By 2010 the news industry was having to completely reinvent itself. News in 2020 would be almost unimaginable to a 1970s journalist.

Advertising Plan

Advertisers pile on the pressure to sell products. Buy exam-improving pills. Commit to a 30-year mortgage. Start a family. Contribute to a pension. Don’t forget the all-important life insurance policy!

Advertisers tap into fears of inadequacy. Products rarely fulfil the claimed advertised promise. Purchase a subsequent top-up product and then it will all be better is the claim. For advertising agencies, life planning entails striving for more things.

Capitalism Builds A Better Future?

Some of the UK’s older residents will say as well as demonstrate, a life planned is a better life. Others will point to regret. Life did not turn out as they intended. For some, there is a sanguine acceptance for others deep bitterness. (Also see Brexit post for more).

Capitalism, the system under which we all slave, relies heavily on people buying into a better future. The definition of ‘better’ will be some material gain. Purchase of a new phone, shirt, sofa, or car.

Life Is Haphazard

Life by its very nature is haphazard. The amount of variables all living creatures need to negotiate everyday makes it none other.  It is possible to plan for an accident although the consequences of breaking a leg could be beyond anything that can actually be imagined when it happens.  

Is planning the future paramount to living a happy, fulfilling life? Does the time involved in planning involve missing the present? When plans don’t work out, what is the mental impact on an individual?

This journey is partly to understand whether life plans are a good idea. And whether business plans are worth the effort. Through conversation and blog posts, some of these questions might get an answer. It is important to understand whether pressure to plan long-term is contributing to rising mental health issues in Britain? If planning is a source of stress, maybe it is time for a new approach.

John M

Connected Post: Abundant Choice, includes link to new American study on The Tenuous Attachments of Working-Class Men (posted 18 May 2019)


The UK education system is task driven, geared to outcomes and exams. Yet humans exist in constant process. It is a rare occasion when there to be an outcome in life that is not the start of a new journey or process.  

The Artistic Process

For many, if not all conceptual artists, ‘process’ is what is of interest. Rarely is an artist motivated by a final piece of work.  The process is one of the most difficult aspects of the artists’ character to understand.

For non-artists it can cause real frustration.  It is the obsession with a process that makes artists different from the majority. Generalising, the population are always task or outcome driven

It is through process that we innovate and invent. It is the same for social innovation, scientific discovery and engineering feats. The Arts are instrumental to human progress.   

Debatable?  Of course!  Wrong? Certainly not!


Haphazard Business will compare these two quite separate ways of engaging the World. The blog seeks to reveal how everything is only part of an ongoing process. Society operates within a constant process and rarely reaches a final outcome.  

John Mc

Photo: Surreal Doorway (Dali | Cap Roig a Castell) by John McKiernan ©2018 | All rights Reserved 2022


Every idea has an individual author. 

We all have ideas, all the time! Some flash then are gone. Some gain momentum before fading. On occasions, one pops into the mind and sticks. It develops and leads to something real.  

Idea Factors

What factors bring about an idea in the first place? What needs to happen for an idea to become reality?

An intention of this blog is to encourage people to consider themselves the author of their ideas. By seeing themselves as an author might offer an understanding of how the idea formed? It will allow for reflection on the thoughts and stimulations leading up to an idea forming.

Travelling Intervention

The travelling intervention part of this project intends to be a kind of “living metaphor”. It will seek out interesting people to discuss how their ideas formed and morphed. It will shine a light on the shift from having an idea to making it a reality. And is it the same process for creating a product as an artwork, a service or a business model?

AND… already we have a problem – is having a thought the same as having an idea? Time to delve in…

John M

Photo: Moonset by John McKiernan ©2021 | All rights Reserved 2022