As I reviewed my journals, all that I did, all that I learned, all that I grew, I realized how extraordinary the year was. And how little of it I could have planned.
Looking back at 2017, the moments that had the biggest impact on my year — the moments that gave my life meaning, that catalyzed growth — were things I could not have planned. Not if I had spent a lifetime dreaming up ideal days.
They were moments of serendipity and synchronicity. Happy moments. Joyful moments. Sad moments. Grief-filled moments. Whether negative or positive, all of them shaped me. Each one molded who I am going into this year.
Connections with people I hadn’t yet met or who were barely on my radar. Experiences I couldn’t have imagined. Accomplishments I didn’t even conceive were within the realm of possibility for me. Storms I couldn’t see coming.
Each one shifted my path — even if only by a few millimeters. Over time, that’s enough to radically alter your trajectory.
Over the course of my life, the events, people, and experiences that have shaped my life have always been the ones that were not in my plans.
I’m guessing it might be the same for you, too. If you’re being honest with yourself.
Yet our culture clings to the illusion of plans and control.
If you stick to your plan, it’s easy to remain closed to potential opportunities.
You don’t always know how it will turn out. Will this lead anywhere? What’s the ROI?
I have learned that it’s foolish to look at it that way. You might meet your future spouse or business partner. You might not. But just because you don’t walk away with a new spouse or a new deal doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it.
You don’t know when that one person you met might introduce you to someone who can help you launch your new project or find your new home or spouse.
To have the kind of year that is meaningful and that leads to growth, something has to happen that you can’t plan.
By all means, have a plan. But be open to the potential and possibility that exists outside the confines of your plan.
Don’t get caught in your goal tunnel. Take the open road. Life is about embracing the experience and the unexpected.