Make A Plan And Abandon It
Are you a planner? It’s Sunday night, and you’re strategizing about what you will get done and by when? What about the weekend? Do find yourself making plans, filling all possible white space with dinner with friends, baseball games, family outings…you name it, you’ve planned it.
I have a confession. I’m a planner. I inherited it from my Mama. I’m quite proud of it, in fact, because it’s served me well in the efficiency department. However, when I had my big wake up call a few years ago, I realized that my scheduling was trumping my ability to be conscious. There were so many times when I missed experiencing something that was truly for my highest good, that fed my soul, that challenged me because I had everything planned out.
This past weekend, I gifted myself a weekend away with my Mama in the gorgeous city of Nashville. Remember, my Mama is a planner, and there’s still a part of me that loves a good old fashioned itinerary.
However, I sent my Mama our weekend travel plans on a doc that included a big red, “SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME” on the top. Did they ever. While in flight, a friend who lives in Nashville shared that Paul Simon was playing at the Ryman on Saturday night. The Ryman is one of those music venues I have always wanted to see — it’s an old church where the Grand Ole Opry originated (it still has the original pews!). Our issue was that we had tickets to the Opry for that same night and were so excited to see it — I planned it!
This was a dilemma for me. What if I couldn’t get tickets? What if the seats were no good? What it we didn’t end up doing either in the process? We’d talked about going to the Opry for so long! But, there was a feeling of adventure and joy at the thought of going to the Ryman to see the amazing Paul Simon!
What I’ve learned is that the richness of potential outcomes and experiences of following that feeling of joy and adventure, even if not achieved, far outweighs the comfort and stick-to-the-plan routine that we can lock ourselves into.
I’m pointing this out because this experience evoked a feeling inside of me that I think most of us can identify with it, but don’t always capitalize on.
I’ve learned to not spend a lot of time hemming and hawing in situations like this, and, instead, follow the ‘good feeling’ and the experience that I’m after.
To wrap up this example, I made a few calls and was able to move our Opry tickets and get great seats to Paul Simon.
Why am I telling you this? Because had I ignored that feeling because I was so attached to my plan, I would have missed out on an experience that fed my soul. I don’t think it’s any different in motherhood or in the Corporate world. If you’re craving to feel connected and in alignment with who you really are at your core, then you must get comfortable with agility. One must be able to to detach from ‘the plan’ and follow the good feeling, so that you can receive all that is available to you in that very moment. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you don’t stick to a plan, you can’t be efficient and do all that that you want to.
As I was travelling back home, I reviewed our itinerary and was blown away. In fact, we even added a side trip to a little town 20 minutes outside of the city that I was dying to see, but didn’t think we would have time. We probably experienced more than I could have imagined, yet there was a flow to it all. This logic applies in the workspace and in motherhood too.
These are the 3 questions I ask myself when choosing how to spend my time:
- What’s my intention?
- What’s my Why behind my intention?
- How do I want to feel?
These questions have helped me experience what I want to in my personal, professional and home life.
I know that abandoning plans can be scary as all heck, but start with these quick questions to establish some white space in your life. It’s incredible what you can create, experience, overcome, connect, achieve and feel in doing so.