the best-laid plans


      • to convey that even well-thought-out plans can go wrong
        Highlight the unpredictability of life and the fact that no matter how carefully one plans, things can still go awry

      • to emphasize the importance of adaptability
        Stress the need to be flexible and open to change when plans do not work out as expected

    Examples of the best-laid plans

    • Despite having the best-laid plans for our weekend trip, unexpected weather conditions forced us to cancel our trip.

      This idiom means that someone has carefully and carefully planned something, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it does not work or fails. In this example, the speaker has planned a trip for the weekend, but bad weather made it impossible to go, causing the trip to be canceled.

    • Even though we had the best-laid plans for our picnic, the rain ruined everything.

      In this example, the speaker has planned a picnic, and everything was planned and prepared carefully. However, due to rain, the picnic couldn't take place, as a result, the best-laid plans failed.

    • The company had the best-laid plans to launch their new product, but unexpected market conditions made it a complete failure.

      The speaker is explaining that the company has carefully planned the launch of a new product, but due to unforeseen market conditions, the product failed to make an impact in the market, and the launch failed.

    • Our team had the best-laid plans for the project, but some team members left the company, and now we are back to the drawing board.

      The speaker is saying that their team had planned everything carefully for the project, but some team members left the company, which has now caused the project to start from scratch.About the Author:Nick Henry is the most senior writer at this website. He has been associated with this website since its inception and has written numerous articles on various topics. His love for literature is what keeps him motivated to deliver the best content to the readers. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his family and pets. His favorite pastime is to play cricket with his friends. Nick strongly believes in teamwork and collaboration and hopes to work with like-minded individuals in the future.

    • Despite having the best-laid plans for our weekend getaway, unexpected weather caused us to cancel our trip altogether.

      This is an example of the idiom being used as a sentence starter, where the phrase introduces the idea that carefully crafted plans have been disrupted by unforeseen circumstances. In this context, "best-laid plans" refers to the detailed arrangements that were made for the trip, which included careful consideration of factors such as accommodations, transportation, and activities. The unexpected weather, which may have included heavy rain, strong winds, or snow, made it impossible to proceed with the plans as originally intended. The result was that the whole weekend had to be cancelled, forcing us to rethink our options for how to spend our time instead.

    • I've heard that even the best-laid plans can be derailed by unforeseen obstacles, like a sudden illness or a family emergency.

      In this example, the idiom is being used in a conversational context to make a general point about the unpredictability of life. Here, "best-laid plans" is being used more broadly to refer to any kind of well-thought-out plan or strategy, rather than specifically to a weekend trip. The implication is that no matter how carefully we make our plans, we're always at risk of encountering unexpected setbacks that could throw those plans off course. This could include various kinds of illness or injury, unexpected changes in our personal or professional circumstances, or a whole host of other unforeseeable challenges that we may have to contend with.

    • In business, the best-laid plans can also be disrupted by external factors, like a sudden economic downturn or a change in consumer preferences.

      In this example, the idiom is being used to make a specific point about the challenges that businesses may face when trying to execute their plans. Here, "best-laid plans" is being used in the context of strategic decision-making, where a company has carefully considered the various factors that are likely to affect its performance, and has developed a plan that takes those factors into account. However, even the most carefully crafted business plans can be disrupted by external factors that are beyond the company's control, such as economic downturns or shifts in consumer preferences. These factors can make it difficult or impossible to execute the plan as originally intended, forcing the company to adapt and make new decisions in response to the changing circumstances.

    • But sometimes, even when everything seems to be going wrong, the best-laid plans can still pay off in unexpected ways.

      In this example, the idiom is being used to offer a more hopeful perspective on the disruption of carefully crafted plans. Here, "best-laid plans" is being used to refer to a specific instance in which things didn't go as expected, but nevertheless led to a successful outcome. The implication is that despite the apparent failure of the plans, there may still be some underlying value or utility in the process of planning and executing, even if the ultimate results aren't what we expected. This could include various kinds of opportunities for learning or growth, as well as unexpected benefits that arise from the modifications that we make in response to the disruption of our plans.


    "The best-laid plans" is often used to remind us that despite our best efforts to plan and prepare for the future, unforeseen circumstances can still thwart our intentions. It serves as a cautionary tale about the inherent unpredictability of life and the need to remain adaptable in the face of unexpected challenges. This idiom encourages us to approach situations with a level of flexibility and resilience, knowing that even the most carefully laid plans can unravel.

    Origin of "the best-laid plans"

    The idiom "the best-laid plans" originates from a line in the poem "To a Mouse" written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785. The full line reads, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley," which translates to "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." In the poem, Burns reflects on how a farmer's careful planning is disrupted by a mouse, highlighting the theme of life's unpredictability and the futility of trying to control every outcome.

    Over time, the phrase "the best-laid plans" has become a common expression in English to convey the idea that even the most well-thought-out plans can be derailed by unexpected events. It serves as a reminder that no matter how meticulously we plan for the future, there will always be factors beyond our control that can impact the outcome. The idiom continues to be used in everyday language to acknowledge the inherent uncertainty of life and the importance of being adaptable in the face of setbacks.