Planning was never very fun for me. In fact, if you ask the people around me what I think about it, they’ll most likely say:
“Who? Greg? Planning? Yah, he’d rather be in his own little unrealistic world that lets you not plan for the future, i.e. rent, retirement, family, responsibility, etc.”
I would challenge that comment by saying: “What’s real anymore? With our economy in a seven-year low, maybe it’s time we try something else?”
But I digress.
In my experience, there are two types of planners… “life planners” and “next-step planners.” We all know both types all to well.
The life planner has to have a plan in motion for what he/she wants to become in the future while the next-step planner is only thinking about what he/she is doing… well, now or in the next few weeks/months.
Example #1: My Life Planner Friend Currently, I have a friend who is trying to figure out what she’s going to do the rest of her life. She has always been a planner. Planning is what she does and it has always worked for her. This type of person is usually driven by writing down future goals and doing everything in their power to attain them. Whether it be own a house, have a family, retire at 50… the goal is irrelevant, but the time span is always long.
Example #2: Me, the Next-Step Planner I’m not a big fan of making long-term plans. Maybe it’s because my mom was a “free spirt” or that I just have a little bit too much of a dreamer personality. I’m not grounded in a real-world sense, however, I don’t feel as if I’m living so far out of reality that my life is surreal. My plan in life has always been to live a good, fun-filled life. If that means taking a trip to Argentina for a month without a ton of cash reserves or picking up my guitar after six years to learn the E major… then I’m okay without having a life-time “goal.”
If you’re like my friend, eventually, you will come to a point where all of your painstaking planning doesn’t come into fruition.
And of course, if you’re like me, you will come to a point where not planning causes a few problems in your laissez faire way of life.
So what does this all mean and why does the life planner need not fret when their plans don’t pan out or why the next-step planner need not fret because they have to put a little bit of planning into their next adventure?
For the life planner… my advice is this: Sometimes having no plan is the best plan! Besides, plans are usually boring! Taking a break from plans allows you to well, take a break from planning. Refresh, recoup, reevaluate what has work, what hasn’t and what you can do to just enjoy life in the moment. I’ve found that with most life planners, after a bit of time off from planning, you might find that the life you were planning for isn’t as important as you once thought it was.
For the next-step planner…. my advice is this: Having plans allows for better and longer experiences within your unplanned adventures. Meaning, if you plan to go to Japan, why not set a time frame and an amount of cash you’ll need to stay for longer than you expected. Who knows, you might just end up liking it and wanting to stay an extra month. The worst thing that could happen is that your unplanned trip takes an unplanned trip back to home because you didn’t plan ahead and save more than enough cash.
The bottom line, ENJOY life now and later and if you have to plan, go ahead. Who’s looking anyway!