If I take this step,
Then that step,
And do this thing exactly next,
And if the wind blows right
And the Moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets,
And I will get what I want.
But somewhere between taking the step and doing the thing, a bunch of stuff can happen.
Your spouse raises those eyebrows and rolls those eyes.
The stock market falls 400 points.
Your boss announces her departure.
The hospital sends you a mystery bill related to the surgery you had three years ago.
Your kid gets accepted into the college of his dreams – an out-of-state private college dream (so much for the in-state land grant university you were secretly hoping for).
And there’s that unopened letter from the IRS sitting on the hall table.
And your plan? You feel like shelving it, or burning it, because it all seems so silly and pointless now that all this other stuff has come up.
That thing you want? You still want it, right? Or a slightly different version of it?
I bet you do.
Let me suggest that it’s not your vision that’s the problem, it’s the plan.
The plan no longer works, my friend, given the facts of your current circumstances.
Feels like a big deal to dump a plan, I know, because you invested so much time and attention on it, but… not really. There’s a very simple solution.
Just shift the plan by taking the true facts of your situation into account and ask, “What does this mean for me? How can I be agile? What part of this can I still do?”
Well, here’s an idea: you can still network for that new job – with a goal of connecting with one person a week, rather than the four or five in your original plan.
You can still open a business banking account, get business cards and direct your accountant or lawyer to get your consulting business started.
Even if you are eating hospital cafeteria food rather than home-cooked local produce, you can still put fruits and vegetables on your tray and support your vision of a healthier diet.
There’s always something you can do to support your vision. Some one thing.
It may not look like the grand, sweeping all-in kind of thing you wrote about in your plan, but that’s understandable.
You’ve got a lot going on in your life right now.
And rather than allowing circumstances to swamp your boat and leave you stuck – look at you, Smartacus! – you choose action.
Stacking up step after step after step in the direction of your vision.
Never, ever losing sight that you’re getting there, despite the circumstances that might trip you up.
And when asked, “Hey, how’s that plan of yours going?”, instead of looking down at your shoes and mumbling something about Jupiter and Mars, you happily smile and reply, “I am on my way.”