One thing I don’t like about myself is the fact that I overplan- a lot. I mostly live in the future – 80% of my brain activity’s about “what should I do next”, “how to squeeze this appointment next to the other one”, “oh god, I’m late with that, when should I do it” and so on. It comes with the achiever/controlling personality, and while it helped me get results, it’s also an anxiety and restlessness-inducing mechanism.
(Rude texts from your anxiety – made me think about my own inner dialogue and laugh).
That being said, one of the things I really loathe is when things DON’T go as planned.
Yesterday, being a Friday, first during the pre-Christmas period, and this weekend being St Nick’s, I guess most people in Bucharest took their cars and either went to malls, or out of town. Traffic was an insane frenzy, and, obviously, I had packed the afternoon with several errands to run, several places to be.
By Murphy’s law, there’s not one thing that goes wrong, there’s a whole bunch.
Not only did traffic take double time, but also my appointments took longer. I ended up being late 15 minutes for the first, 30 minutes for the second, one full hour for the third…well, you get it.
I was frustrated and stressed and kept cursing under my breath.
Then I thought. WAIT A MINUTE.
This is linked to unfairness. Of course!
I plan. Therefore I do my job. I try to get everything done. But you, Universe, you keep conspiring against me!! That is so unfair!
Unfairness is one of the things that makes me go berserk. I black out and my evil twin comes out.
So I wonder -
How DO you plan for flexibility?
One thing that comes to mind is Phileas Fogg, the Englishman from Jules Verne’s “Around the World in 80 Days”. Fogg was such an exquisite planner that he factored in his schedule time for the unplanned. He was so thorough that he took the journey around the world from West to East, thereby saving one full day and completing the challenge (oh, spoiler alert ).
But I don’t want to be that person that just plans additional time “just in case”.
I want to be the person who says “Well, that’s that. If I can’t change it, why worry.”
Can you do that? Because, if you can, you’re my hero. I admire you. I have such a long way to go.
The ability to let go when things go completely off-track and there’s nothing I can do.
The mindset that, even if I don’t achieve what I wanted, I can work with whatever comes.
The capacity to be energized by chaos and the unforeseen, rather than blocked by it.
Have you read “Antifragile” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb?
It basically states that the opposite of “Fragile” is not “Robust” – it’s “Antifragile”.
“Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”
(for more quotes from Antifragile, click here).
In other words - Let’s see how we can make the best of what we’ve got here.
That sounds like a good state of mind. A positive one. One that is wondering and excited about the unknown.
The world seems a more inviting place, no?