We like to plan things. We analyze and strategize until it’s safe enough, comfortable enough, responsible enough and socially acceptable. Finally, we have the perfect plan. Then we run it by friends and gauge their reaction. If all goes well, we execute.
As a brand developer and activist, I’m constantly analyzing and searching for root causes and determining the best possible outcome. I’m no stranger to planning, and I’m good at it.
But the more I journey towards self actualization and the quest for living a more extraordinary life, the more comfortable, and even excited I am to allow for gaps full of risk and mystery. I’ve learned that when I plan out every aspect of the outcome, I often reduce the chances of experiencing something truly extraordinary or miraculous.
We are an outcome focused society. But when questioned, most people agree that the journey is just as important, if not more. If I run a marathon and finish 2 seconds behind the winner, have I failed? I believe it would benefit society immensely if we were more focused on the journey than on merely predicting and controlling the outcome.
As I reflect back on the most memorable and impacting experiences of my life, I notice that very few of them were planned. In fact, most of them were consequences of a failed plan or no plan at all.
Most people chalk these up as random happenings. I view them as more proof that we can all experience profound interconnectedness and extraordinary experiences, simply by letting go of our need to control the outcome.
When my clients start listing off all the services they want to offer, I stop them and ask, “What is the ultimate impact you want to cause, for yourself, your loved ones or society in general? Let’s start there and then figure out what you need to do or offer in order to bring that vision into fruition.” I think we should ask ourselves the same about the way we live our lives, and choose our vocation.
Over the past few years, I’ve stopped planning my life away. I’m not negligent. I decide what feeling, emotions and impact I want to experience, or cause. I do my homework, listen, check in with my higher self (the gut feeling) and if it resonates, I just start stepping forward. I’m constantly in a state of prayer and mediation, so I feel confident in my resolve.
I don’t wait for all the details to be in place. I don’t worry. I embrace the space of possibility and let it all go.
I’ve studied strategy most of my life. I’m intrigued by it and find the ability to strategize to be one of the defining traits of intelligent human beings. But through this new lens, my definition of strategy has evolved profoundly. I don’t want to create a ceiling on what the universe has to offer. There are times when I need to allow for gaps and refrain from planning the exact dynamics of the outcome.
Ultimately, I believe the universe has much more out there for me than what I’m allowing for if I map out the ending every time.
We are conditioned to believe that we should imagine a goal and relentlessly chase it down and bring it into fruition. This is the responsible thing to do. We create our own ceilings in an effort to comfort ourselves or achieve a feeling of accomplishment.
But I believe there is so much more wonder and awe to be experienced if we simply let go and leave space for those unimaginable experiences. When I plan to the point of determining the exact outcome, in some ways, I’ve limited the boundless possibilities that could occur.
I don’t want to limit my life to the bounds of my own imagination.
Let’s set a trajectory and see what unfolds.
I research, make strategic connections, determine what I want to feel, or what challenge I want to experience. I hypothesize a bit and weigh out the risks. If that resonates with me at a soul level, I let go of all my worries, my doubts and my need to control or even know the ultimate outcome.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and science.” Albert Einstein
I’m making a habit of leaving space for mystery and possibility. I believe that’s the space where the extraordinary lives.