“Life is nothing without a little chaos to make it interesting.” - Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Planning, it’s the bane of my existence and the absolute light of my mother's. While I refuse to make the effort to arrange plans, she lives by them. When she likes to think about things before she does them, I jump in without a second look. When she wants to talk about the future and plans, I’d rather take a spontaneous trip to the beach.
Of course, this “go with the flow” attitude is the wrong type to have with a planner, an organizer -- a type-A neurotic.
Many times, my lack of planning is confused with “laziness” by my mother. What she doesn’t understand is that it’s just another way of living. It doesn’t mean I’m lazy, it’s just that I’d rather not spend my time planning when I could be doing something else. What she doesn’t see is that planning creates anxiety and puts you out of the moment, and I’d rather not spend my life like that.
What I’ve tried to explain to her is that planning means thinking ahead and thinking ahead means concentrating on the future, and concentrating on the future means not understanding the present. Not understanding the present means not living in the moment, and that’s the absolute worst way to go through life.
Life is to be enjoyed moment by moment. Every day is to be a new adventure. Every morning is supposed to surprise you and challenge you. It’s supposed to be random and exciting. What many people don't understand is that stress doesn't come from unexpected situations, but trying to plan things that are beyond your control.
Planning means trying to control the future, which is uncontrollable. Planning is the first step to setting yourself up for disappointment. Because, many times, plans don’t work out the right way and you end up let down. So why add this anxiety to your life? Why add the pressure of plans and failed attempts? Why not just give up on trying to control the future and enjoy the daily flow of randomness?
I try to explain to my mom that if she just stopped planning so much, she would be a lot less stressed. Her anxiety comes solely from worrying about the future. Her life would be filled with more moments to be enjoyed rather than planned. So if you want to live your life worrying about the inevitable and never taking things as they come, then keep planning. If you want to change the way you look at life and spontaneity, here's why you should stop making plans.
Your Plans Never Work Out The Way You Want
Nothing ever works out as planned. That’s a proverb, isn’t it? It’s most definitely common knowledge, so why would you live trying to disprove this truth? Why not accept this and stop wasting your time with failed plans and disappointing outcomes.
Surprises Are The Best Parts Of Life
We’d all kill ourselves if we knew that life was going to be the same way forever. We’d end it right now if we knew we had no surprises, no exciting adventures and no spontaneity left in our lives. So why deny yourself the most exciting and worthwhile bits of life by planning away all the surprises?
It Takes You Out Of The Moment
If you are constantly thinking about the future, you’re never enjoying the present. The moment you stop planning is the moment your life changes. Live in the moment and realize your full potential for enjoying life.
You Fail To Notice The Small Details
Think of all the beauty you’re missing while agonizing over the future. When you’re crossing the street, thinking about tomorrow, how many beautiful flowers did you fail to notice? How about the beautiful way the trees are swaying in the wind? Planning distracts the mind and keeps you from noticing the wonderful unplanned parts of it.
You Miss Opportunities
Ever heard of that saying, “It’ll show up when you stop looking”? It’s a phrase that can be applied to opportunities in life. The best things that happen to you are usually the ones that happen at random. Whether you get a job because you met someone down a street you randomly walked down or you take a sudden trip to Mexico and meet the love of your life, it's the unplanned opportunities that are usually the most worthwhile.
You Create Unnecessary Stress
If you stopped thinking about the future, you’d most likely find that there’s a lot less to worry about. Suddenly all those things weighing down on you are lifted as you give yourself room to enjoy the moment and stop worrying about things that are beyond your control.