If you are a planner by nature and have a strong need for control, ask yourself how close your reality has aligned with how life works. The one thing that is hard to control is the future. We may lay good plans, but we cannot predict with certainty what people will do. We can anticipate with probability, but that is a far different type of mindset.
I think one of the enemies of success is rigidity. When we have our minds on how things should work and believe it gets done because of some rules we ascribe to, then we open ourselves up to failure and disappointment. Life is not that rigid, literal or controlled. If you don’t believe me, spend a few months in sales. You have a plan, but you cannot control the outcome with customers. They go up, down and sideways in their interactions.
Frameworks Not Rules
I think a better way to approach planning and goals is to create a framework. This is more of a construct that can flex and be discarded if it is not useful. It is akin to keeping your eye on a far off destination and accommodating all the detours you will have to take along the way.
Trying to manage the map with specific turn-by-turn directions and not anticipating the new hazards that crept up or the delays you might find can cause frustration because of missed expectations.
A framework is thinking in terms of a guide. It leaves you the flexibility to change when circumstances present themselves that warrant a different choice or direction. It prevents you from painting yourself in a corner because of a strong fixation to a rigid plan.
Think about when you do feel frustrated. Is it because the illusion of control has faded? You had a plan for you and others and something changed. People didn’t play along. An accident you did not foresee happened.
Ask yourself why you feel frustrated. Did you have a rule or a rigid plan in your head?
What if you approached the new project, venture or relationship with openness to more than one possibility? My guess is that it will make you a better strategist. You can change when the facts change. That ability to adapt will become critical in your ongoing success. You will experience the world as it is, not as it should be.
What are your thoughts?