Having a Plan is Sometimes Just Folly, Life has Other Plans for You

dream not plan

I’m not a planner. As much as I like to know what my day and week looks like, and I’m typically the one tapped to plan vacations with friends and family, I like “playing things by ear” and seeing how I feel in the moment. I like the surprise. I like sometimes not knowing what lies ahead. But I know from coaching college seniors (and their parents,) not having a plan for what happens the day after graduation brings on angst-driven thoughts and feelings. It doesn’t have to.

Looking back, I had an idea—a dream perhaps—of what I wanted my life to be like. However, my only post-graduation plan was to move to San Francisco. I had $360, a VW Bug, a brain and mindset that said I’m flexible, adaptable and open to try different jobs until I created a career for myself. I’m happy for the experience to learn my talent and skills, what I didn’t want and how to go after what I did want and for learning, as a friend once said to me, “…sometimes you have to let the universe take over.” She was right.

Planner type or not, know this: Envisioning your life is essential; having a plan is sometimes just folly because life has other plans for you. As hard as you try to control your life, life actually controls you.

What’s the lesson?

  • Be open because staying power these days is about adaptability.
  • You will discover along the way you need to keep reinventing yourself. Just ask Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Mary J Blige, Radiohead, even Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Keeping yourself excited about what you are doing. When you are bored, others will be bored as well.
  • Do your best work and everything will fall in place.


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