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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Have You Ever Wondered # 4 – Why things never go according to plan?

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Anyways, I remembered about the two other columns I have, Allan’s Advice and Have You Ever Wondered (HYEW), and I felt like I haven’t been giving them enough love so here is another HYEW that I had occupied my thoughts for quite some time. The first issue I want to bring up is if you even agree with the statement things never go according to plan. There are always situations where you will have things go your way but just because they go your way does that mean they go exactly according to plan. And even if they do go exactly according to plan, do they always bring the intended result. Plans are in essence a way to achieve a certain goal. By having a plan, it means you have at least the intention of doing something. Very often those intentions and the actual outcome differ at least in some shape or form.

When I think of plans I immediately think of Freddy’s plans in Scooby doo where he sets up elaborate traps in attempts to capture the bad guy. Sometimes the plans work perfectly, sometimes there are… complications. This example shows you the different aspects involved in the plan making process. While you don’t actually hear Freddy going step by step to set up the perfect trap as that would probably be boring, we get to see the different parts that go into capturing the bad guy or whatever it may be for your situation. You may not be stopping monsters but it is inevitable that some actions in your life will require a plan. Plans are vital because they basically tell you or allow you to prepare for events that will occur in the future. The catch is that the future hasn’t happened yet and I believe that nothing is certain or set in stone. I believe in free will and I believe that because of this it is almost impossible to accurately predict the future. If you believe in destiny and predetermined fates then if you know the set out path for which everyone’s life will take place, you can then utilize that knowledge to your advantage in the present. For instance, a popular example of this is knowing how the lottery will turn out and thus picking the right numbers before the lottery actually takes place winning you tons of cash.

The thing with free will that makes it unpredictable is the fact that there are so many variables involved in any given situation that involves plans or has any reference to the future. It is so hard to control and produce situations to exactly fit the plan you have constructed for how you think the future will play out. Maybe the monster in Scooby Doo doesn’t react the right way to the bait that Freddy laid out and therefore the whole plan gets messed up. Or maybe Scooby and Shaggy run into the trap and set it off instead of the monster. This is why the construction of plans is so important. Flexibility is a major part of plans and allowing leeway and adjustments will greatly increase the probability that the future will occur the way you intend it to. If your plan is set in stone and one little part messes up in the beginning then the whole plan is probably put into jeopardy and has less of a chance of happening. Another aspect of flexibility is revisions. Revising plans means that in mid execution of the plan something comes up but because of the leeway you’ve built into it, you have the room to develop changes to adapt to the changing environment. A lack of flexibility will cause your plans to fail and thus result in disappointment or unpreparedness on your part.

Another thing that contributes to why we are often sad or disappointed when things don’t go according to plan is because our ideas of what is feasible vs. what we want or imagine can happen. Most of us have very creative and vivid imaginations and have all heard the saying “anything is possible”, but some things are more possible than others. Our ideas and plans usually differ from concept to when they actually come to fruition. It is amazing to see the course and path of how everything grows and adapts as time progresses.

Plans are what we live by and live according to. While I don’t think it can ever really be known what determines whether a plan will go the way they should or could, I do believe that there are many ways to maximize the chances of them going right. One way is to dream big but take a dose of reality. It is very important to be imaginative because that is where the most innovative ideas come from but in order to make those plans see the light of day you need to be somewhat grounded into reality. Another way is to make sure you set up optimal environments for such plans to take course. If you plan to become a doctor, it would be a good idea in high school to take hard science classes, especially biology. If you don’t, you limit your potential as well as the potential of the plan to succeed. Finally, lighten up and leave room for the unexpected. It will kill you if you try so hard to maintain a strict guideline and accordance to your original plan. Things will inevitably come up to throw off your groove and if you place so much importance on keeping things 100% in line you will bring so much unnecessary stress down on your shoulders. You only get to live once and sticking to the plan without diverging means your life will become almost predictable and you leave no space for those random plans that pop up. Aside from things like weddings, it seems to me that the most memorable moments in life weren’t even planned. So live a little every once in a while and plan times where you don’t have a plan. Hope you enjoyed and don’t forget to like of comment please!


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