Planning seems like an activity that provides us with an endless source of humility.
Because no matter what we plan, how perfectly we design our future, there’s always going to be surprises that throw things in often completely new directions, leaving all the work that we did in planning and preparing for our imagined future, suddenly it’s obsolete and we have to deal with a new future.
So why do we keep planning? Why continue to do this? I mean, when we have one of those kind of blank slate days, a day when nothing’s happening, there’s no surprises, there’s no events that are coming at us, and we have a whole day to do whatever we choose to do- now, not everybody even experiences this, and maybe those with full-time jobs and families, maybe they never have this happen, but as a self-employed man, this is something that I get on a lucky day.
And you know, even then, even in a day when there is nothing from outside that demands my actions, that forces my hand, I still don’t have full planning and executing power, because there’s only so much that I can do.
There’s only so much control that I have even over myself, over my own laziness and boredom and desire to be entertained versus doing work.
And even my knowledge of what I should be doing.
I mean, some people are able to just grind it out and work all day no matter what, but then are they doing the right thing? Are they working on the right thing in the right way? We are always limited in our ability to execute our plans.
And that’s even in the most perfect ideal scenario where we have nothing from outside surprising us.
But of course, life is full of surprises, and we can make a beautiful plan for a day’s work, very well thought-out, and then suddenly something comes up, and we have to deal with it, and the plan is gone.
This can happen with our plan for a day.
It could happen with our plan for a year.
Something could throw off an entire year.
Or even our plan for our entire lifetime.
We could have a whole vision that we’re working towards, and then major events happen that then make it impossible.
So we really have no way to guarantee the future.
We can’t be future-proof.
We can’t be surprise-proof.
And we don’t know ever how much of our plans we’re ever going to be able to execute, because we don’t know what surprises the future has in store.
So it seems like this is simply part of being alive.
Part of living our lives is having this ability to accept the uncertainty of the future, and to be able to in a way dance with the future, because we are always being hit by these surprises, and we have to kind of find a way to work with them.
So is it even worth planning anything at all? What is the point? Well, it seems like we still have some control over our lives to some unknown degree, and we do have times when we are not being surprised by outside events all the time, so we still have the ability to design our lives to some degree.
We can still make these decisions to the best that we can and make choices, design choices for our lives that move us closer to where we want it to be.
But my thought for today is just that we always have to be completely ready to have our plans be completely derailed at any time.
And that’s just normal.
It’s not some surprise disaster.
I mean, each disaster is itself a surprise, but the fact that there was a surprise disaster in itself doesn’t need to be a surprise.
Because we always are going to be surprised by new events that come at us.
So it seems like this is just part of what it means to plan and design and live our lives, that we do our best to plan, but we also plan for the plan to be unplanned, for the plan to be broken and have to generate new plans on the fly.
So planning, it seems, as an ongoing ever-changing activity that we can kind of have a balance and a dance between our sort of controlled command space of designing what we choose, combined with “Wow, life is full of surprises now and I’m reacting the best I can.” So I’d be curious to hear how you approach this.
How do you handle planning while knowing that plans can easily be broken at any time? And how do you manage that unplannedness?
#plansbroken #planning #disaster