I’ve been the queen bee planner for as long as I can remember. I have journals devoted to goal setting. I’ve always been able to see my life one or five or 10 years out. And I’ve not only seen it, I’ve had about three mini goals prepared in each category for just how I was going to get there.
That’s a strength right? To be so focused (obsessed?) with what you wanted and exactly how you were going to there. I thought so… It’s what we were all taught. To get into the great school. To get the perfect job. To have our dreams, we must have plans and goals and focus!
But who was there to tell me, you, what to do when things didn’t work out. Who was there when losing our plans was so wrought with disappointment it felt insurmountable. I wouldn’t realize until later how my plans got blown up in my own best interest. That my detailed plans for life were actually getting in my own way.
Growing up, we southerners always said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Now I say, “If you want to make your future self laugh, tell her your plans.”
Last weekend in a conversation with a dear friend, I caught myself explaining how completely unsure I am, about so many things. I don’t know where I’ll be living 5 years from now. I don’t know who I’ll end up with. I’m not sure if I’ll have a family then. Three years ago I knew the precise answer to all of that, but as I said it aloud, I realized: not knowing what you want doesn’t mean you’re lost. It might mean you’re so trusting of yourself, so connected to your own value, that you’re up for life’s adventure. Maybe you trust something bigger to create plans way greater than you ever imagined… but it requires getting out of your comfort zone. And it requires listening.
It’s scary. And uncomfortable. And you’re pretty sure you’ll be sucked into a giant, failure-ridden hole. And then before you know it, you realize the universe will always catch you. But it’s up to you to give yourself the chance to be caught. It requires the risk of falling away from your own “perfect” plans, not knowing how long it will last until you feel the warm embrace of relief.
I’ve never been so unsure about exactly how my future will look, while still being so sure of the value I’ll be providing. And that I’ll love it. That could only be the case from being so utterly OK with what life has to bring. The more you trust in your own talents, the more you answer the call, the more willingness you have to be uncomfortable, the less you’ll need to plan. Or you can plan things to the tee and know they’ll blow up anyways! Whatever you do, don’t let your detailed life plans get in the way of what the Universe is asking you to do.