The road ahead…

Out for drinks with my friend Justin (now my mentor) a couple of years back and he asked me a question, “What was my plan?”  And I didn’t have an answer.  Unheard of for me. Anyway I stuttered and stumbled and talked a lot around the subject, but I simply couldn’t answer the question.  Anyway it made me ponder about plans and stuff.

In the following weeks I talked to a lot of my friends about their plans and I’m amazed that most of them didn’t have one. If I had my cynical hat on I would describe them as passengers on a fairground ride, watching their lives unfold one day at a time.  The thing is that none of these people are stupid.  They plan their careers, their social lives, and their travels around the globe with military precision. However I honestly don’t even think that it’s occurred to them to plan their life.

So I wrote myself a plan. It took me about three months in total.  A lot of frowning, ermming and ahhing and all sorts ensued.  Anyway job *eventually* done.  I now have 4,000 beautifully scripted words that outlines what I want to do with my life.  It gives me something to aim for, pushes me on a lot of levels and shoves me into situations that I wouldn’t normally get myself into, but ultimately it’s a plan that I feel comfortable with. 

I revisited my plan this weekend and was pleasantly surprised how many things I could tick off – #vlm being just one of them – hurrah!  However I noticed that I’ve also got a bit too caught up on some small stuff and I’m not thinking about the big picture.

I went on a corporate jolly a few years ago out in wet and woolly Wales.  Met up in a rather foggy forest at stupid o’clock in the morning to go rallying.  (Yes I do like cars, driving fast and stuff like this…) Anyway at group briefing we all got told that one of the most important things was to keep your eyes locked on where you wanted to be, not on where your car was actually facing. 

An hour later I’m flying down a gravel track through the forest with a 90 degree hard left looming ahead. The instructor is literally screaming in my ear “quarter turn left, and give it some welly…”  and then we should be drifting sideways round the corner, gravel flying and big cheestastic grins all round. Happy days.

Except there’s a problem – I look out the front window of the car and all I can see is trees – massive pine things just inches away from us – and I’m on a direct can’t-possibly-avoid-it collision course with them. My brain was screaming at me to step on the brakes or spin the wheel a full lock or just do SOMETHING! 

So the net result was I made a total ass of myself.  It all went horribly Pete Tong.  Car suffered a minor dink. Pride and ego pathetically crushed. However in the middle of a welsh forest I worked out that if you get fixated on where you are right here and now, you wont be able to execute on a course to get you where you actually want to be.

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3 thoughts on “The road ahead…

  1. Great blog, Mel. You’ve given me food for thought. I kind of do have a woolly life goal, but not a plan, and I think, more than ever, I need to get one. I bumble in a generally happy direction, but I need to put more purpose in.
    One. Big. Stumbling. Block.
    4000 words??? Man, that must be one major plan. Respect.

  2. Thanks Kay.

    Like you I’ve bumbled for a wee while. Well for over 38 years truth be told. Going through the whole *write a a plan* thing was a really good exercise for me – it made me think about what I want, whats important to me and how I want to be remembered. It also forced me to face up to a few things I’d been avoiding.

    I now have something I can revisit every couple of months and tick things off my *to-do* list. My sense of achievement is being fed, and my desire to do more is growing daily!

  3. Pingback: Use little tricks « West : People Matters

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