“Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision. Visions don’t change, they are only refined. Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan.”
~ John C. Maxwell
Because life is what happens while you’re making other plans
Have you ever been driving somewhere and once you arrived at your destination, have no idea how you actually got there? You know you left your last location and that you were the driver, but you have no memory of the journey. You were so much in your head that you drove on auto-pilot, not noticing anything around you. Then you felt a rush of relief because you arrived safely and without incident.
We tend to live our lives the same way. After a few years, or longer, we take a look around and wonder just how we got to where we are. How did you end up with this job you don’t really like, in a relationship that is ho-hum at best? Your life is on auto-pilot and you’ve never taken the time to see where you’re going. Even worse, you’ve somehow ended up in a different spot than you planned.
Although not the originator of the phrase “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans,” John Lennon did make it beautiful in his song, Beautiful Boy. In words of advice to his son, Sean, Lennon sings “Before you cross the street/Take my hand/Life is what happens to you/While you’re busy making other plans.” He’s offering guidance to his son, and you can do the same for yourself. You can hold your own hand, check in with yourself frequently to make sure you’re heading in the direction you want.
Now that you’ve found yourself in a place you never intended you’re not sure how you got there, you have a choice. You can either wallow in misery, put your head back in the sand, and continue on as you were. Or you can take a breath, look around, and assess the situation.
Change of Plans
Recently, I read this book that offered great advice on how to know when it’s time to make a change of plans. It was about business, but it applies to everything. (Side note: if you’re an entrepreneur you must read this book.) Basically, it boils down to one thing:
Does it align with your values? If not, then it’s time to make a change of plans.
Maybe your job is kind of boring, but does it provide you with the income and schedule you need to be able to travel how you want?
Does your home keep you tied down, or is it a place of refuge?
Are your relationships stifling or mutually uplifting?
When you frame it in this way, comparing your situation with your values, it’s amazing how clear it all becomes. Then it’s easy to decide whether or not it’s time for a change.