Let’s Stop Planning Everything For a Happier Life

Here I am sitting at my desk again. I now have three notebooks to plan my work and days — one huge calendar, one calendar diary where I write what actually gets done and one project ideas and visualisation notebook (this doesn’t include my pocket notebook and the one I have for writing ideas).

They’re sitting on the green desk in front of me white and clear, ready for me to spill my mind on them.

It’s as useful and practical as much as exhausting. To have every minute planned out and to know how days are going to turn.

Let’s stop planning for a minute and let life be

Humans have the amazing skill to imagine stuff. We’re awesome, aren’t we?

This ability gives us the chance to survive and avoid danger. We can foresee the cold winter, the consequences of topping our credit card or eating a poisonous plant. It’s not instinct only, it’s our imagination.

Our ability to plan is what drives progress after all — we imagine the end result and then come up with steps to achieve it. That’s great — if we couldn’t do that we wouldn’t have the homes we live in and the clothes we wear, hell even cooking would be a huge problem!

The thing is that….I just don’t want to plan!

Well, at least not everything.

If I have to be honest I recently started planning my work in a new and very efficient way (look up Todd Herman). But when I tried to apply that to my who life it didn’t quite feel as good.

I know I need to stop planning for everything because

Life Has a Better Plan, Let It be

I’m just a human you know, like you. I don’t have any superpowers or clairvoyance. But life has the bird’s view. For the universal power there is no time and space. You see, if you only know so much information you can only make so good plan: if you don’t know it’s going to rain, you don’t think about taking an umbrella, but life knows all. It sees the rain and YOU forgetting that umbrella again.

Here is why I don’t want to plan everything:

attachment to results

A goal is a result. If I plan and focus on the result much, I become attached to it and feel disappointment when not attained. However, this goal might not have been the right outcome for me and by having goals and attachments I fail to see the real meaning of what’s happening to me. Plus, I forget to enjoy the ride being attached and focused to the destination.

disregarding opportunities that might be better

When I have a goal I feel like a horse with blinders. I don’t see anything else. Mostly I don’t see that my conclusions, goals and plan aren’t actually as good as they seemed at first. Sometimes goals make sense to me but only in a certain emotional state. When I have a goal I become so focused on it, I forget to ask Am I walking the right path? at times. I fail to see all the signs that point in other, abettor directions called opportunities. That’s why I prefer to have a goal, but to not get set it as the best outcome.

forgetting my dharma

I often plan for what my ego thinks is the way I should go. But it’s a limited little ego and can’t see my dharma. Not having strict life goals allows me to enjoy every little development in whatever direction. For example, when I started going on a vegan diet twice a year, it was never my intention to lose weight or become less of a meat eater. I just wanted to experiment with my willpower and get healthier. But there are extra perks to goals and if it feels natural to go somewhere or experience something, I’m only 100% in for that.

living a boring life

It’s just more fun with surprises. My imagination can take me only so far. Life’s much more exciting and interesting. I can never imagine the plot twists that life creates. By planning everything, I take away my chances of really living a fun and exciting life.

Zen of planning

As a conclusion I want to share something about planning and chasing goals (which isn’t the same but is related so I wanted to share) that I completely live by, but recently read that Leo from ZenHabits has said it much better than I ever would.

Let’s not live for the moments that we accomplish our goals, but for the moments that take us to them. If you enjoy what you do, it never really matters whether you achieve the goal. Dance for the dance, not for the golden medal. Plan to dance, not to win. That way, whatever happens, you’ve lived a happy life.

I will end this post with a little more Bulgarian wisdom:

If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.

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