There Is No Plan

I love planning. I plan meals and grocery lists. I usually plan my weekends, sometimes down to hour increments. (It’s an expectation thing – I usually have 100 things I want to do in a weekend and really only have time for 10.)

Compass

Photo by Mo Riza used with permission

So naturally, I feel a need to plan my life and career.

I recently posted a quote about needing a harbour to find your way. Very fitting with my plan-it-all mindset.

Or so I thought.

A very wise woman responded in the comments saying,

… I don’t think we can ever truly know the final destination. If we chart our lives on one path, I think we end up trying to control where we’re going and, based on my experience, where we want to go or where we think we’re going isn’t necessarily where we’re meant to go…”

There is no plan

Not long after, another wise and thoughtful woman lent me the book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need by Daniel H. Pink.

In it, I noticed a similar theme. The first lesson (there are six lessons to be learned) is “There is no plan.” It says,

It’s nice to believe that you can map out every step ahead of time and end up where you want. But that’s a fantasy. The world changes. Ten years from now, your job might be in India. Your industry might not even exist. And you’ll change too. You might discover a hidden talent.”

So there I was, thinking I needed to chart a course, figure out where I wanted to go and boldly stride forward. But now two wise people (three, if you include the book’s author) tell me that it’s probably not the best move I could make.

But I want a clear path

No plan? I struggle with that thought because I want a clear trajectory. With each step I take, I should be going up, right?

What Success Looks Like

(Credit: Demetri Martin’s This Is a Book)

Hmm. So maybe my expectations aren’t realistic. I really, really want a nice, neat, straight, predictable line. Plan the work, then work the plan.

It’s all about the values

So here’s where I’m at. Instead of deciding exactly where I want to be in five or ten years, I will identify the values that are important to me. I will use those values to help guide me along my life’s journey. When faced with a career or life decision, I’ll reflect on my values and see if the opportunity fits with them.

And hopefully, that helps make me a wise woman too.

* * *

How about you? What tools or tricks do you use to help you find your way? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Click here to share below.

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5 thoughts on “There Is No Plan

  1. Pingback: Quest for Purpose