I have long quoted a famous bit of t-shirt philosophy: "When you're up to your neck in alligators, it's hard to remember that your original intention was to drain the swamp." (Yeah, I know: the t-shirt didn't say "neck;" but this is mostly a professional blog.)
Now, this seems pretty straightforward. However, I once had someone challenge that. "If your intention was to drain the swamp," he asked, "shouldn't you have prepared for alligators?" It's a valid point.
So, in a recent conversation, the topic was plans. We were discussing annual reviews, and how the goals one set at the beginning of the year and the accomplishments one could claim at the end of the year, weren't necessarily the same. The goals were important, but so were the actual accomplishments. It was just that the accomplishments came in response to problems and issues that hadn't been apparent when the goals were first set.
It was then that this occurred to me: "When you're up to your neck in Burmese pythons, it's hard to remember that your original intention was to drain the swamp; and it doesn't matter how prepared you were for the alligators."