Everything is going according to plan.
Probably not something you’re hearing a lot in 2020.
Of course, if we zoom out, we might realize that derailed plans are nothing new. This is life.
As the old Yiddish adage teaches, Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht.
Man plans, and God laughs.
But what if 2020 is going exactly according to plan?
Maybe not your plan, but the plan. The plan of the bigger force that shapes the world we live in.
What is Your Plan?
First, let’s take a step back and consider: what even is a plan?
When you say you have a plan, what you’re really saying is that you have a desire, a wish, an “ego hope.” A plan is an idea of something you want to achieve or do — an outcome or a result — in a certain time frame, and how you want to achieve it.
The more we attach to that wish or desire, and the ways in which we expect it to manifest, the more disrupted we feel when circumstances arise to thwart it.
Welcome to 2020, and the shadow pandemic of despair caused by disrupted plans.
You Have a Desire, Not a Plan
Second, any plan we make is an act of hubris. We can’t make a plan because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. We’re not in charge of the big picture.
You can have an idea about what you want or a preference for how you want to do something. But you can’t really have a plan.
The Bigger Plan Might Be Better
Third: we aren’t really so good at knowing what we really want.
Sometimes everything goes according to our plan and we get what we thought we wanted, only to discover that it doesn’t give us what we really wanted.
And sometimes nothing goes according to our plan things turn out better than we ever could have expected.
I could fill a book with all the ways my life hasn’t gone according to plan just in the last few weeks, and certainly the last few years.
When I stop and look back, I can see how those disruptions and detours led me to better outcomes. Sometimes the story arc completes more immediately and sometimes it takes months or years.
When things don’t go according to plan there’s often deep wisdom to be found. Wisdom that we miss if we are clinging to our ego plan.
A Mantra to Maintain Perspective
Here’s the mantra I use whenever my plans get disrupted:
Not my plan.
It reminds me that my plan is secondary to the larger plan of the universe, God, whatever higher power exists that runs the show.
I invite you to adopt it if it resonates with you.
When it comes to 2020, take heart: things may not be happening according to your plan, but trust they’re proceeding according to the plan.