My parents used to (nicely) remind me that life doesn’t always go according to plan.

Be plan-ful, they said, but also be mindful. Be willing to compromise, be open to change, and let yourself be spontaneous from time to time.

I had lists and goals and ideas and was certain of the way the world was. At 8, I was putting together calendars of meal plans for my mom and consolidating them into weekly grocery shopping lists. I organized wallets, cleaned out closets, and knew exactly where I was going to be when. I even had ideas about when I would get married, how many kids I would have, and what I would do after college.

But guess what. Most things don’t go according to plan.

Do you have plans? Ideas for the future? Expectations that you hold in your mind and your heart about what you should be doing or what you ought to be doing? Be gentle with yourself: it’s okay if it doesn’t work out as you expected.

Plans are nothing but loose expectations.  More often than not, things don’t usually end up the way you expect them to.

Look back at what you thought you might be when you were younger.  At 18, 19, or 20, did you really have any idea what you’d be like at 25, 28, 30, 35, or even 40? We have some expectations, but we can’t really plan everything.

For where’s the fun in that?

The joy of life is that it doesn’t go as you expected. If it went as you planned, you’d probably have missed a whole lot.

ReWork (hint, hint, book review coming soon!) captures this idea brilliantly. Stop planning, the authors write. Because a plan is just a guess. A plan is an idea of how things might possibly be. Why don’t you get to work, iterate, and test prototypes instead of spending a whole bunch of time creating a fancy business plan? Test. Iterate. Live. Explore. Experience.

Ah, Experience.

Be open for new experiences. Enjoy the ride. Be.

It will probably be completely different than you expected.

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