When Planning Goes Wrong

Friday. The day we surf the web and act like we’re working. The day we spend more time chatting than replying to “urgent” emails.

Fridays. They’re just so laid back.

But not this one. Phone calls left and right. Emails that needed immediate attention. I guess I could have tried harder to ignore them, but it was too late.

I was already thrown off. Things weren’t going as planned. I wasn’t going to be able to sit back and daydream about the weekend.

But instead of trying to force things back together (I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work), I decided to step back and ponder about planning. What is it about ruined plans that sets us off? I thought about it and kept coming back to the same idea.

Making plans isn’t the problem


I use to think I could stop planning. Then I would continue to plan (since planning is a necessary part of life) and when things went wrong, I would say, how many times do we have to go over this Nick, just don’t make plans! That never solved anything.

Making plans isn’t the issue. Becoming attached to our plans is the problem. I thought I had complete control over my Friday morning, then when things fell apart, all hell broke loose.

If we’re attached to our plans and they get ruined, so do we.

How to go about planning


Find a balance. Make plans, hold them lightly and roll with the punches.

Things don’t always play out as expected. Our lives are our proof. If we look closely, we can see that our frustration over ruined plans is simply a reaction. A reaction based on how we’re holding the situation.

When we become attached, we hold our plans tight. In that holding, there’s no space for us to contemplate before we react. We just see our plans slipping away and we try to avoid it at all costs. It’s that clinging that causes us to struggle and become frustrated. Before we know it, we’re flipping out, anxious and irritated.

Negative reactions are optional


If we allow for space, we can approach situations and say things don’t always go as planned. Creating that space allows us to work with the unexpected. Then when the ship sinks, it’s not such a big deal. We’re not screaming from the deck, we’re just watching from the shore.

We aren’t in complete control of the road ahead. Let’s stop taking life so seriously.

Find security in the doing and pursuing, instead of the expectations. Don’t limit your potential by being too rigid. Let things unfold organically. We all need to do a lot less forcing and a lot more allowing.

Remember that your way isn’t the best way, my way isn’t the best way, but whatever is happening here and now is the way. Your directions lie in what’s here. Pay attention and you might stumble upon a greater plan.

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