I am a planner. I like to plan everything. I like to write down my goals, I make five-year plans with strategies to reach those goals and I jot down to-do lists every day of my life. Planning helps me to stay disciplined, to reach my goals step by step. Because failing to plan is planning to fail, right?
There is nothing wrong with planning out your day, your career or your life.
Don’t overdo it.
What I have learned about the urge of wanting to plan everything, to wanting to have control, is that we strive for a sense of perfection that often stems from fear. The fear of letting go. When you become fixated on one plan you become attached to a certain outcome: obsessed with the scenario that you want to see happen. Then you try to manipulate events, ideas and even people in order to get that outcome. All because of fear of the unknown.
Striving for control, wanting to be perfect, living in a perfect world. Peace, love and unicorns. And that’s not going to happen. But maybe that’s a good thing. Because isn’t imperfection our teacher? That is how we learn. Think about your life. Have you ever experienced an outcome of events that you had never ever envisioned? And did it necessarily turn out bad? Or have you ever not been able to bounce back from some form of a challenge? Most likely you learnt from it. It probably made you stronger.
And what is control going to bring you anyway? Picture perfect? And then what? You have your ideal outcome, but it’s not authentic, it’s not real. And shouldn’t we want to be authentic instead of perfect? Shouldn’t we crave realness instead of an idealness? The tricky thing about being so fixated on your perfect envisioned outcome is that you do not leave room for the true meaning of life: ever flowing, ever changing, ever evolving. By focusing too much on how you want things to be, you are not allowing yourself to make mistakes, to learn, to grow. You are closing yourself off to all the experiences and gifts life has to offer you. You become blind to everything that happens outside of your planning, to anything or anyone that might float your way: forgetting that the best moments in life are the ones you didn’t plan at all.
Maybe we should do a little less planning and a little more living. Just let it go. I know, it is easier said than done. Especially since everyone is singing Frozen songs these days. So how do we really let go? Like many things it is all about the perspective. Choose to believe that you can trust and let go and things will be okay. That sounds like a Bob Marley song, but there is actually a lot of psychological sense in the concept of choosing to believe that ‘everything is gonna be alright’. You should be free to live your life and experience the things you are supposed to experience without trying to manipulate every little thing. The truth is, unless you let go, you cannot move forward. Letting go portrays a sense of faith in the future. Having faith takes courage and your life will unfold in proportion to that courage. So, surrender, have faith and accept what is. It will make your life so much easier.
Photography by LYD.