Stop Planning

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I’ve recently managed to do something I’ve been trying to do for a while.

In fact, I’ve managed it twice.

The interesting realisation for me is that I hadn’t planned to do it the way it happened, it just … happened.

This event had it’s genesis in the realisation that it’s ok to fail. That it’s ok to stop doing something in favour of something else. That I don’t need to do everything.

I’d been trying to do since January and started out well enough, best intentions leading me forward and, for a while, it was going ok but over the past few weeks it started to falter.

So I did something I don’t recall ever doing before and, once I’d done that, I felt ready to move on. It felt cathartic, liberating, and maybe a little bit of the right kind of wrong.

It got me thinking. Maybe I need to stop planning things, stop trying to control things so much and just let things happen, be more organic (is what I think the marketers would say). I have always presumed I worked better if I had a goal in mind, set myself a challenge and then layout out a plan of attack but I think that’s only true in certain cases.

It seems that, for things I want to achieve that I’m not able to do on my own, I need to be challenged, need to have something to prove to someone else. To succeed I need to have that nagging feeling that someone else will ‘win’. I’ve tried setting my own goals but it just doesn’t stimulate me as much as the desire to prove someone wrong, or to put it another way, I thrive on competition.

The most obvious example is the fact that I’ll happily play an hour of basketball, push myself to my physical limits and if the chance arises play on for another 30 mins. If I go to the gym, with only myself to compete against I start to flag and that’s when the excuses start.

Of course it depends on what the goal is and what I’m only just figuring out – seriously, I’m almost 40 – is that some things don’t need planned, don’t need a goal. If they need to happen, they will.

Lesson learned, read what you want, when you want.