I am a planner, or so that’s what I say. It might really just be a cover up for constantly worrying about the future. I’m not quite sure. I know I plan extremely far in advance. I mean, I usually have a good chunk of my Christmas shopping completed, or at least planned out, by mid November. There are times, though, I’ve asked myself if I was missing out on something. Would somehow I be happier or live a more fulfilling life if I was more spontaneous?
Planning for Now
Planning gives me some type of perceived control over things. To me, when things are planned out, time is optimized and overall it’s just a more productive outcome. You don’t sit around waiting for things to happen, you make them happen.
And let me point out before we get too far into this that there is a difference between planning and stressing. I feel that stressing happens when you try to control the uncontrollable. Planning is a path. Stress is chaos. I will concede that I do more stressing than is necessary and that is something I am constantly working on, but planning is different.
Planning gives me something to look forward to. If I constantly have a goal and I’m striving for something, I’m never stagnant. I feel that no matter how small the goal, as long as I have one, I’m growing as a person.
Planning for Later
And if you’re always living 100% in the moment with no regard for the future, what’s left for tomorrow?
To me, the idea of a long and thoughtful life is much more beautiful than the idea of living everyday as if it’s your last. If you live everyday as if it was your last, it’s almost as if you’re planning to die. I’d much rather plan to live.
But still, even though I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember and I feel most comfortable when having things planned out, I wonder if I’m missing out. I see people picking up and going off to do something crazy spontaneous and there just seems to be so much wonder and joy in it. So much adventure. Do I lose this sense of wonderment by planning out my adventures? Does an unplanned rendezvous have any more meaning than a well planned one?
Planning with Purpose
I’ve gotten out. I’ve lived abroad. I moved to a different city. I’ve left everything I’ve known behind to try out something new. There have been times where an opportunity has arisen and I have abandoned all my plans. Do these experiences lose their excitement because they didn’t all happen on a whim?
I’ve come to the conclusion that they don’t. I have things in my life that I want to accomplish, so I make them a priority. If my life was full of spontaneous things, how would I ever reach my end goal? I’ll admit there is some excitement in the unknown, but I like to take that unknown in small doses.
You’ve only got so much time on this earth and I’m going to try to make the most of it by squeezing in as much as I can possibly plan to. I plan to continue striving to better myself. I plan to continue to set my priorities high. I plan to continue to reach my goals. I plan to make things happen. I plan to do things that make me happy. I don’t plan on waiting around.
And hey, if plans change, there’s always a back-up plan.