I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d only go back to being 20 if I could take all the life experiences I have now with me. Pretty sure most of you would say the same thing as well. Even so, there is much to learn about how to ‘do’ life, some of which is hard and some of which is a happy accident. Relationships mature, life situations change, income and outgo are always in flux, people leave or new ones arrive, and all along are lessons, lessons, lessons.
One valuable lesson is that failure to plan is planning to fail. Nowhere is this MORE true than in the workplace, where foresight and planning are absolutely essential to success, unless what you do is meant to turn out a chaotic mess. I don’t care WHO you are or what you do, some amount of planning is completely indispensable to creating a decent, if not stellar, end product.
Believing this is one thing, doing it is quite a different thing altogether. Having said that, it should therefore come as no surprise that I suck at planning. It is a daily struggle to make a plan and stick to it. It’s more of a struggle to make a long-term plan and stick to it. It is nearly impossible to make a far-reaching plan and do anything remotely like sticking to it. The horror of this is that I’m currently in the middle of a VERY long-term project and would have already failed in many spectacular ways if we didn’t have a project planner assigned to it. This is a marvelous happenstance, and I am trying my best to learn from what she does and how I can apply it to what I do. Except…it takes discipline. Discipline and attention. Discipline, attention, and rigor.
Yeah, pretty much I’m sunk. Aside from a severe deficit in the planning department, discipline, attention, and rigor aren’t my strong suits. I’m more seat-of-the-pants, really, or generally just allow entropy to do its thing and simply disappear into a puddle of bland lack of definition or energy.
So if I could go back to being 20, I’d have to be hard on myself and shout the planning mantra long and loud and often so that I would look occasionally beyond tomorrow into next month, year, or decade. God only knows (it’s true) where I would have wound up today if I’d had the discipline, attention, and rigor to work past my inner sloth to give my future its due. Not that I’m unhappy with where I am, but that now, through a series of life lessons, I know I could have done so much more.
Ah well, I suppose I’ll just have to struggle along with my cushy desk job and then go home to MY house and decide what I can pull out of MY pantry to do the kind of planning I do best: what’s for dinner (that I bought with the money from that cushy job). Such a heavy load of first-world responsibility!!
Oh wait. It’s Friday. Pizza night! *whew!* Just dodged that planning bullet!
Therefore, I beg of you and answer to this question: What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance? Surely you have SOME wisdom to impart!
Have a great Friday and a lovely weekend - Tiff out.