Strengths and Planning


November 16, 2015


Despite our best efforts to plan and prepare for life, fact is, we really don’t know what is going happen. And, perhaps, one secret to true happiness the ability to view this as a good thing!

After all, there are seven billion of us running around on the planet and we each have separate—often conflicting—desires, ideologies, visions, and needs. Mathematically and philosophically, it is improbable that everyone will get to do what they want to do when and how they want to do it all the time.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, we all have plans—no matter how big or how small. We all take action, in one way or another, to have things go a certain way.

Unquestionably, we can use our experience and our ability to make educated guesses to improve our odds. But when it all boils down to it, we cannot predict the future in the same way that we can reflect on the past. Time, for us, runs in one direction. Things change.

And the best part is: All of this can be a good thing!

Because of the fact that there isn’t a lot that we can do about unknowns externally, we are wise to consider what takes place internally. Learning to respond as opposed to react to life is a start. Yes. But, what about learning to embrace (even welcome) surprises?

Perhaps, as a culture, we’ve put such an emphasis on preparing for our lives and pushing our individual agendas that we’ve forgotten the value of detours and unexpectedness.

Because, no matter how organized and systematized our lives are…stuff happens. So, the question becomes, how can we make the most out of the inevitable stuff?

Really, the unexpected detour is not always a challenge or setback. It’s a blend of both welcomed and unwelcomed experiences that change our life and our path. Something unexpected, but welcomed, might come in the form of a new friendship, a promotion, or a reunion. Meanwhile, the unwelcomed versions would include the opposites of these things: a break-up, a demotion, or a departure.

Either way, when we get out of bed in the morning, sure, there is a likelihood of the next twenty-four hours passing as planned; but there is not a guarantee. And, where before that thought may have been terrifying, today it can be liberating. We no longer have to live in fear of “the other shoe dropping.”

Why’s that?

By developing a strengths-mindset we are learning to focus on what makes us great; as we do this, we gather confidence in our abilities to add value to the world. We begin to learn and become comfortable with the ways that we can contribute to the lives of others and to grow and change with the world. By focusing on learning from situations—instead of controlling them—it is likely that we can handle what life puts in our path.

No longer are we concerned that situations and people will crush us.

Do I have all of my eggs in one basket? What points in my life are negotiable? What are the must-haves in my life? How would my life be different without them? What action can I take on the “inside” to be ready for changes on the “outside”? How do I respond to surprises?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

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