What to do When Plans Fail?

Post #86 When Things go Wrong

We go about our lives with dreams, expectations and plans for the future. But sometimes things go don’t as planned and sometimes life seems to be on hold. Then, you panic or place blame when others seem to get in the way. Have you ever thought that part of life includes expecting the unexpected?


When Things Don’t Go as Planned

Perhaps your internship has disappeared, your scholarship has been revoked or your overseas research has been canceled. Due to your analytical nature, you try to plan your life in advance so you know exactly where you are headed and why. When things go according to plan, life seems well and you feel confident and accomplished. Fortunately or unfortunately, life doesn’t always go as planned. There are things that, no matter what kind of tedious steps you arrange, will not turn out to your expectations. It is tempting to blame yourself or others during these trying times. But … what if no one else and nothing else were to blame for your plans not turning out? What if you can accept the idea that part of life includes expecting the unexpected?

Expect the Unexpected

Let’s stop and think about your answer to that last question. What if you can accept the idea that part of life includes expecting the unexpected? For example, your daily routine exposes you to many risks – car accidents, influenza, food poisoning and tripping just to name a few. It would be silly and inefficient for you to try and avoid all risks all the time, right? However, you understand that these things, plus many other tragic events, can happen to you anytime. So, as a diligent planner, it may be reasonable to try and accommodate for certain unplanned events. But, you know it is not reasonably possible to plan for every single thing. Therefore, it is not reasonable to expect that life will occur according to plan. This is a counterproductive attitude that will set you up for disappointment!

Your Life is Fair Game

I’d like you to seriously take a minute and think about the answer to this profound question. What if you can accept the idea that part of life includes expecting the unexpected? This implies you open your mind up to things not going as planned. It means you don’t get too disappointed or bummed or depressed when life takes a turn for the worst. If you can embrace the attitude that life doesn’t always go as planned, you lessen the shock when things go south. One of the best ways to live a happy and efficient life is to be open to change. Be open to being wrong. And be open to thinking about your life from alternate perspectives. Things will not always go as planned, this is a condition of all human lives. If you can accept this as part of living you may save yourself much unnecessary suffering.

In conclusion, we can try to plan things as much as we want. If plans work out that’s great, but they may not. Accept the idea that things may not go accordingly, and understand it’s okay (and sometimes beneficial) to improvise.

For additional tools and brain exercises to help you manage your COVID-19 circumstances, visit my YouTube video:  Managing Student Life During COVID-19

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