Tag planning

… and what’s going to happen next.

The White Flag.

After much consideration, I resigned from my job of twelve years nearly two weeks ago.

There are many who would question such a decision given that I don’t have another opportunity lined up, and I’m also not 100% certain what, or where, that opportunity might be.  I just knew that this was the right thing to do and the right time to do it.

For someone who has historically placed logic above all else, admittedly many who hear this news are taken aback.  Unfortunately, after what I’ve experienced over the past five years, I’ve learned that life has other plans regardless of what you may have wanted to happen.

Thus, I’ve stopped trying to make any real long-term plans and to accept whatever comes into my life.  I don’t look years into the future; right now, I operate on a day-to-day basis (that’s 24 hours), perhaps because I don’t have any other choice.

I recently read an excerpt from a business text published by the Harvard Business Review where the author describes the attitudes of POWs during the Vietnam War.  Those who believed they would be in that situation forever fared much better than those who believed they would be released within a certain period of time; the former group’s ability to accept their current circumstances increased their resiliency.

When things aren’t “working,” I think it’s natural to envision a time when things will be working again.  Interestingly, it’s a mistake to think this way.

Since 2006, thoughts of a “better future” have centered on a relationship that no longer exists.  More recent situations have involved my career and where I live: “This will get better in a few months …” or “I’m only going to live here for a short while …”

Anger and frustration at what “should have been” becomes draining and meaningless in time, but difficult to relinquish all the same.  Unfortunately, these same feelings erode one’s resilience, and it’s a downward spiral from there.

Based upon my experience, I think one’s ability to “weather the storm” requires resilience, and surprisingly a pessimistic attitude (i.e. things may never change, but eventually everything ends).  The ability to “live life” centers around the ability to “fail quickly” (i.e. perseverance) and a strong sense of one’s self / purpose.  Everything else is supplementary, and should be considered a “bonus” because nothing in life, and no one, is guaranteed.

 

The Dream.

I woke up the other morning realizing that I have had a fairly consistent dream over the past several years.  While i can’t completely understand the associated timing, I am starting to understand the meaning of the dream.

First, let me share some brief background.

With very few exceptions, I have always considered myself to be a good student.  I love to learn and school has always been a place of pure enjoyment for me.

Ironically enough, I was never interested in my English classes.  I completed my assignments, read the books and participated in class, but frankly I was never enthusiastic about being there.

Not surprisingly, my dream involves my time spent in this class – or, more accurately, my time not spent in this class.  For some reason or another, I either chose not to attend class or I simply decided that the assignments could be left until the end of the semester.

As the dream progresses, the semester eventually comes to a close, and you can imagine my emotional state as I quickly realize that I haven’t done anything and I am left wondering how I am ultimately going to succeed in a class in which I really haven’t participated.  The realization of potential failure turns the “dream” into a nightmare.

Fortunately, the dream always seems to end with me successfully completing the class although it also omits the details regarding how.

As with anything in life, this dream is subject to interpretation.  My interpretation of this dream is that I may be associating success with the existence of a plan. This dream seems to tell me that I can still be successful without one.

Right now, I really have no other choice but to believe.