“‘Everything will be alright’ is not the same as ‘everything will stay the same’.” -Seth Godin
Things change all the time. As scary as this may be to many people, and hard as we may try to fight it, life simply does not and cannot stay the same. The very nature of existing on this planet means we are fragile, finite, limited beings and the blessings, mistakes, births, deaths, illnesses, healings, relationships, break-ups, and all the in-between of our experiences are unavoidable.
I was raised in a household that really rolled with the punches, and into my early 20s I thought I was going to carry that brightly burning torch proudly into my adulthood and never look back. I was not going to be one of those people who worried about 401Ks and disability insurance; who fretted about food poisoning on exotic vacations and always had a back up plan for her back up plan. Life was just too unpredictable to even begin to try to prepare for all of the things that could go wrong––so why try at all?
A combination of factors led to my slight (well, moderate) modification of this approach over the last couple of years, but the biggest influence was the shift in my understanding of the control I had over my own life. As my worldview changed, and I began to recognize the responsibility I had to other people and to the environment around me, I also recognized that the consequences of my life choices could impact a family, a community, and potentially a whole globe full of people. My desire to live a spontaneous, exciting, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of life was transformed into something a little more calculated and a little more controlled, but I believe also a little more compassionate.
To be a thoughtful person also means often being a careful and discerning person. And, this, much to my surprise, means planning something every once in awhile. Because to act on my every whim, to make choices without consideration for how they impact others, might be fun, but also has the potential to be destructive––now or in the later down the line. I recognized that in order to make decisions that best align with my values and beliefs means I first need to know what those values and beliefs are and then determine which choices will best bring those things into my life. And this requires some forethought––a bit of “planning”, if you will.
Conceptualizing of planning as a path to living more mindfully, I am able to more consciously choose the future I want for myself and the world around me.
tags: reflection personal growth planning