So I was catching up with an old friend over lunch just before Christmas, filling her in on the past 8 months of my life…8 months of major life-shifting as I moved into full-time coaching. I said to her, “Obviously the plans changed a lot since the last time I saw you” and she responded, “Yeah, but Heath…the important thing is that you always have a plan.”
At first I thought “Whaaaaa???” But then I realized it’s true. My plans changed A LOT over time, but there was always a plan. The thing about my plans is that there was no logical progression. They seemed schizophrenic to anyone outside of my own head. (Even though the evolution always made perfect sense to me).
For example; nine years ago I returned to Canada from living in Mexico, proclaiming to everyone that I was only spending the summer in Canada and then I was off to live and work in Japan again.
Things happened, priorities changed, and the next thing you know I’m working for a big corporation doing a job I never imagined for myself in a million years.
Many moons later after leaving said corporate job, I proclaimed to everyone that I was headed to grad school in Cape Town. Because, you know…it seemed totally right at the time.
Things happened, priorities changed, and I ended up planning on grad school in Canada instead.
Fast forward six months.
Things happened, priorities changed, and I was no longer interested in grad school.
I sound like a total flake right?
Well, I’m happy to say that I’m not, but it just took me a while and a whole lotta bullshit-slaying in my own societally-conditioned mind to realize that I am at heart, an entrepreneur, and that I had really just been looking for answers in all the wrong (read: conventional) places. Part of that realization was accepting that I was capable of totally going rogue and building the business that would leverage all of my skills. A big leap!
The thing is, I know many family members and neighbours talked about me like I was flaky and just couldn’t make up my mind. I used to get the old, “So what’s the plan now?” ALL the time. As though somehow me changing my mind about what I wanted to do with my life offended their sensibilities. As though I should have just made up my mind like a normal person and stuck with it.
How the hell are you ever going to figure out what you really should be doing with yourself if you don’t try on various hats and live with that decision for a while?
Let me tell you, the decision to go to grad school in Cape Town and relocating my dog and my partner to do so….believing it….even beginning the planning process….it really made me examine a lot of what was important to me and what I was willing to sacrifice in pursuit of what I thought would lead me to my dream.
And then it didn’t work out.
And that was ok. But I learned a ton from living that reality for a while.
Same with other incarnations of my plans. In fact, I owe all of my plan changes a debt of gratitude because they’re what brought me to now, where I feel an incredible sense of synchronicity with what I’m doing and where I’m going.
And the thing is, when I do commit to something, I rock it completely. I am super driven and have an excellent track record in between all of my indecision. I’ve had an amazing life as a result, and I feel like all this has only been a warm-up for greater things.
I am not a flake. And I’m telling you this story because I suspect…neither are you.
Now, I know there are thousands of actual flakes out there. People who go through life never really completing anything and expecting their family or friends to bail them out when they make bad decisions.
I’m not talking about them.
I’m talking about those of us who go hard or go home.
There’s nothing wrong with indecision, and you don’t need to continue the commitment to Plan A if it doesn’t fit anymore just to ease others’ discomfort.
Go forth and reinvent as much as you need to until you find that thing that feels so right it hurts.
It’s easy to feel discouraged by people who can’t reconcile your lack of definition. But you’re the only person you need to answer to at the end of the day.
And be cautious about choosing a path by default…and if you do choose a default for practical reasons (gotta pay the bills, yo!) keep the bigger picture alive. You owe it to your multi-talented self to keep the search alive until the perfect plan lands and fills your heart with a whole lot of “This is it!”