Changing your perspective
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell
Following on from my comments last week on forward planning, this week I thought I would continue the discussion by sharing my favourite quote from Joseph Campbell.
To be frank, I love this quote not so much because it is unique, but because its message is a poignant reminder of the need for radical thinking at a time of year when just about everyone engages in some degree of forward planning whether they realise it or not.
Granted, a certain number of people actually do sit down with a clean piece of paper every January and write out all manner of resolutions (a few of which they even stick to), but what about everyone else?
Do these people really wander through the year without any plan at all?
While it is tempting to assume that this is the case, I would argue that it is not.
But how can this be true?
If you have ever heard the expression “failing to plan, is planning to fail” you will already have some idea where I am going with this.
To me, this quote, which is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, conveys the notion that when we don’t actively engage in forward planning at the conscious level, we are subconsciously “choosing” not to plan. In essence we are “choosing” to remain in a passive state by allowing our subconscious to make all the decisions instead of actively taking control of our forward planning. That might be fine if you happen to have a perfect, blissful life that meets all your expectations, but what if you don’t?
What if your life is a dreary stressful empty place where the sun rarely shines and nothing seems to change?
If that’s the case, then the life that you would have to “get rid of” in order to assume the life “that is waiting for you” is a life in which you passively circle the globe from one year to the next in an endless unchanging loop, drifting from one day to the next, one year to the next, deciding nothing, planning nothing, achieving nothing.
In short, before you could actually begin to decide where you wanted to go or what you wanted to achieve in your life, you first would have to actively decide to end your own self-inflicted plan of inertia by opening yourself up to the possibility of answers to your problems existing, and more importantly to the possibility of being able to find ways to take action on those solutions.
After all, ideas without practical application are just hot air, and dreams cannot come true unless you first create space in your mind and your life to allow them to.
Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/olderhoodgroup1/ or firstname.lastname@example.org