Anyone who has known me for any length of time will know I like a plan and I can be quite fixed to a plan. In the past I would have laughed if anyone had described me as being spontaneous. In fact, I once received some coaching on this as I wanted to be a little more spontaneous and the end result was that I decided to plan some time when I would “be spontaneous” 🙈
Fast forward a few years though, and I’ve come a long way. To the point where now I often rebel against plans and often prefer not to have them. So what’s changed and how am I doing my best to strike a balance?
There’s a lovely phrase I learnt once:
The system/person with the most flexibility of behaviour will control the system.
To me, this basically means that the more flexible you can be about things, the more options you will have available to you and the more opportunities you will have. You’ll be far more likely to have a positive outcome as you’re less tied to anything.
I’d already started to notice this when I was doing things where I didn’t have a plan. Sometimes having too rigid a plan meant too many restrictions and disappointment when it didn’t work out as expected. In contrast, sometimes amazing things happened when I had no plans at all – incredible opportunities came along and I could make the most of them and appreciate them.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that having too rigid a plan can sometimes be counter-productive as situations change and I don’t actually want to do the things on the plan by the time I get round to doing it!
My plans are usually devised by me in isolation (I’m fairly independent which has pros and cons for sure!). Being open and spontaneous means I get to do more interesting things that I might never have considered because they’re sometimes ideas from other people that I might not even have known were an option.
And so I’m learning to go with the flow more (hence the new jumper in the image at the top of this post!).
There’s a fine balance to strike though because sometimes I know that now I can be a bit too relaxed and not sticking to my intentions. This can be particularly detrimental when I have things that are important to me but no one else is directly impacted by as it can make it more tricky to prioritise those.
So where am I at with things?
Well, I’m planning things that are important but not necessarily to the same level of detail. I’m staying open to plans changing. I’m letting go much more, and going with the flow.
How about you?
What’s the right balance for you?
How can you make the most of “going with the flow”?