The reason I can write this is because it was the perfect plan. Perfection is an interesting word, subject to definition. The perfect plan. You’ve always dreamed of it. The idea that sparks the imagination of probably every human being at one time or another. The single plan that if perfectly planned and perfectly executed would bring fame and fortune to the author. Probably every tree-fort gathering or slumber party conversation at some point or another has gotten around to talking about the perfect plan.
What is really interesting is the first place your mind went as your imagination was triggered from the paragraph above. You may have thought about it in the context of a great business idea or novel invention – the next pet rock. But the reality is most people went immediately to thinking about the perfect crime. There was no reference to anything positive or negative, just the perfect plan. What motivates the direction of our thinking is really the underlying story behind this story. The story I’m about to share is really about motivations and what drove me to conceive of the perfect plan, which put my path on an intersection with history.
What would drive a forty-two year old father of two great kids to spend time thinking about the perfect plan? By a normal worldview, I have achieved “success”. I have been married to a beautiful wife for 19 years. I have a beautiful home in one of the greatest cities in the United States. We have the obligatory two dogs, both with personalities that make them part of the family. We have a circle of friends with whom we have long and deep relationships, honed by years of both fun and crisis. We have a large back yard, swimming pool, and a home that lends itself to entertaining. Our kids attend a private Christian school in a beach town. My bank account has a few zeros at the end of a few numbers. I have established a reputation as a seasoned technology professional and have a backlog of organizations wanting me to help them design their strategic technology plans. We take great vacations to exotic places around the globe. Yet, there was something driving me to conceive the perfect plan. What would move someone who seemingly has everything to spend time and energy devising something that may or may not be possible? You might think it was finally coming to grips with mortality, going through a life-and-death situation can motivate you to think differently, but that wasn’t it. You might think it was wanting to leave a legacy, something that would mark my existence on this planet, but that wasn’t it. You might think it was finding my destiny, accomplishing something with purpose, but that wasn’t it.
There is absolutely no good reason for me to spend time crafting the perfect plan, but that is part of why it’s perfect. I didn’t need to do. I really didn’t have any motivation, so it couldn’t be traced back to me. It wouldn’t fit and therefore couldn’t be brought back to my doorstep. Most of what I’ve learned about institutions or organizations that try to protect their wealth or their constituents do so under the assumption that everyone has a motivation. For those in an organization trying to protect either their assets or their people, they rely on human nature to be predictable. They rely on the majority of the population being bound by some code of conduct, those over-arching boundaries that keep most of society within acceptable conduct. It is only the exceptions for which they can plan. They can only hope to anticipate the plan of their enemies by anticipating their motivations. They have to assume that human behavior is repeatable and predictable. They have to assume that profiling is a science that actually works, and they have to assume that the criminal intent is motivated by something that will ultimately cause it to be foiled, discovered or caught. Most criminals are stupid. There are very few criminals in the history of the world who demonstrated brilliance at their craft. They were generally always motivated by something that ultimately caused their demise. Something that caused their plan to be imperfect.
The beauty of the perfect plan is that none of those assumptions apply. I’m not motivated by money, I’ve got that. I’m not motivated by power, which holds no fascination. I’m not stupid, as you’ll discover. What is intriguing about the perfect plan is that it can’t be discovered, it can’t be thwarted and you’d never knew it happened unless I told you about it in this story. It is also really amazing to think that the perfect plan doesn’t have any repercussions. No one is hurt, now law is broken and nothing in my life changes. The only outcome of the perfect plan that you’re aware of is that I did it because I’m telling you about it.