I’ve spent a lot of time on planes this month and I board with a plan. I hope to take a nap, followed by working, eating, and reading. As a last resort, I may watch an inflight movie. To execute the plan, I need to know what music puts me to sleep. I bring one meal and several snacks. I have plenty of water with me at ALL times. I know what I like to read and what type of work tasks to focus on.
Those are the things I plan for. But here’s just a few of the things I can’t control:
- Who will be sitting next to me and will they want to talk?
- Will the people seated around me need to get up and potentially wake me?
- Will I have a chatty flight crew that is on the overhead speaker frequently?
- Will there be a crying baby behind me (or next to me), a kid kicking my seat, or even grown-ups being loud for no good reason?
- How often will the seat belt sign be off so I can go to the bathroom?
- Will the wifi work for the entire flight (even over the mountains) so my emails will go through?
- Will there be turbulence that makes me too dizzy to work, read, or watch a movie?
So you get the picture, it’s a decent plan but there are a ton of things that might derail it. This happens to me on long flights, but also in just about every area of my life—from daily logistics to parenting to work. I’m a planner, but my plans don’t shield me from surprises and disappointment.
Your existence is more important than any failed plan.
This week’s intention
When my plans aren’t working out (especially important personal or professional plans), I tend to blame myself. Yet, that is neither productive nor a realistic assessment of how life works. Planning is a key part of preparation, but life is ultimately beyond our control. On the occasions when life rejects my plan, I’m learning to sit in my discomfort and accept it. I know that I tried my best and my challenge is to let the plan go without feeling like a failure. I have to surrender to the lessons I’m here to learn and the experience I’m having.
My intention is to be kind to myself when life is not working out as I planned.
So this week, we are going to set an intention to be compassionate to ourselves when our best laid plans don’t work out. We are going to work to limit the mental anguish we inflict on ourselves, making a bad situation even worse.
Next week, we’ll talk about how to rebound and start again. But for this week, just pray and meditate on your intention to be kind to yourself and know that as long as you have life in your body, you can and will bear this disappointment. You will get to the other side of whatever failure you might be enduring right now, learn a few things, and have time to plan again.
Take care and see you next week!
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