The problem with planning

Despite knowing that the best laid plans often go awry, we often still find ourselves meticulously planning for the future.

However, like all things, planning is great but only in moderation.

But you have to allow yourself room to be fluid. Too much planning leads to rigidity, prevents innovation and restricts creativity.

It’s like when you have to go from A to B, you should plan your journey but if you try to plan out everything you will encounter along the way you’ll be less open to the unexpected. On the other hand not enough planning and you’ll just end up lost

It’s really just about finding the right balance.

Dealing with the unexpected

No matter how much you plan and prepare you always encounter unexpected situations.

In the moment it can be easy to end up feeling overwhelmed after all this is not what you wanted, it’s not what you planned for.

And so you have two choices. The first is to get caught up in the unexpected and the feeling of things being out of your control. The second is to take a moment to check in and ask yourself whether this unexpected situation poses any real risk. Most of the time the answer is no, in fact you have something to gain.

Unexpected situations can serve as an opportunity to learn how to be more adaptable which is a pretty valuable thing.

The worst possible thing

What do you do when the worst possible thing happens.

And by worst possible thing I mean something unanticipated, something that you didn’t plan for that throws you off course.

The common and perhaps most easiest way to react is panic.

Like a sort of ‘Oh my goodness, what I am I gonna do, everything is going wrong, this has gotta be liek the worst possible thing, what am I gonna do now?’

Turns out the popular and easy reaction isn’t particularly helpful.

Instead my experience has taught me that the much more useful thing to is think. Go through the possible scenarios and come up with a solution. Once you’re able to remove some of uncertainty suddenly the worst possible thing isn’t so bad.

Granted you can’t control how things will turn out. However, what you can do is remind yourself that you are capable of overcoming the unexpected.

Unexpected and interesting

Language is pretty important. What we say and the words we choose to use can be impacted by how we choose the world or even change how we see the world.

An example of this that I practice is not referring to things as bad or negative. Instead I’ll use words like unexpected, interesting, challenging, growth points and so on.

Something unexpected is just something you didn’t plan for, something interesting is something that has caught your attention, something challenging is something that can be overcome and a growth point is something you learn from.

Choosing to see things that way in my experience is much more beneficial.

Let’s say you apply for a job and don’t get it. In my experience viewing the unideal outcome as bad just gives the inner monologue a chance to run wild and after a few minutes you’ll find yourself thinking that you’re world is over.

But on the other hand if you view the rejection as a growth point you might realise that you didn’t really want the job, you could have filled out your application better or perhaps you just learn the lesson that not everything you want was meant to be.