I used to semi-believe in a five-year-plan. Not so much. I can plan all I want but I don’t decide what’s actually going to be the outcome. So I went to the source. I asked the tweeter, Kris, about his own five-year-plan and threw these questions at him:
Do you believe in the five year plan?
Have you made one before? If you did, how did it turn out?
Are you anticipating setbacks?
What if life were to completely change course from your plan?
The truth was that Kris didn’t really HAVE a five year plan. First surprise. Did he have goals on things he wants to attain and change in five years? Yes. “I would certainly anticipate setbacks. Life is tough. I think one of the hardest things about getting older is that it constantly reminds us of this. If I had one change, I would probably hope to become more physically active and more motivated to pursue my hobbies,” he says.
That sounds like all of us, doesn’t it? When I think of a plan, I immediately think to what will railroad us off the course of the plan. We’re chugging along just fine until XXXXX, YYYYYY, ZZZZZ. Oh no! Now what? I don’t PLAN on things going smoothly. My plan includes knowing that life is gonna be messy (see yesterday’s post).
Of course now my brain is all spinny and I’m thinking how wonderfuly negative and cynical I am. Can’t I even just dream of good things happening? Well sure! I think of publishing the memoir. I think of taking the book out on the road in an RV and speaking about the book while touring all the National Parks. I dream of settling into a job that uses all of my talents. I dream of marriage and commitment. I have dreams, they all seem nice. Attainable? *shrugs*
I believe that planning and dreaming and goal orientation are all great things. Without them, what do we ever work towards? I also believe that we need to be at least a tad prepared for the offsets of life. I could list the millions of things we should have in place to prepare for the unexpected, but I do believe that just embracing that the unexpected WILL happen is the first course of action.
How are you planning your next five years? Is it all rainbows or are you prepared to do the work to get back on course if you fall off it?
You can read more from Kris Bradley at his blog.
Thanks for this post. I wholeheartedly agree that planning and dreaming keep us happy and moving in a positive direction. I also think that the “5 year plan” was dreamed up by an HR department who ran out of interview questions. I prefer to create “immediate goals” (to reach within a year) and “future goals” (things I aspire to). It is important to focus on the task at hand, and be open to opportunities. A “plan” is just too rigid, and can make you feel like a big old failure (not to mention a waste of 5 years) when it inevitably does not pan out.
If you don’t know where you are going how will you know when you get there?
Mitchel Tolle a very successful artist once told me. Make a list 20 things you want to do in the next 12 months now place the list some where that you wont find it for a while like your bible. In 12 or so months look up the list you will find you completed a very large amount of your list. It is the power of writing it down. You don’t have to commit to a step by step plan but you have to have more than a fleeting thought that I am going to do this whatever by whenever…
Go MAD be HOT (go Make A Difference be Helping Others Today
Your MAD friend Mel