Archive for May, 2011

I am so spoiled.

Up until now, I’ve been in situations where I’ve always had a plan. I’ve been taught how to create a plan and how to follow through. And that’s what I’m good at. But lately, this safe haven of creating my own processes and world has not been enough. In this blog post, I’m exploring why and what to do about it.

So. To give you an idea of how I handle things that need action. Be it an idea, setting up my own business or planning a day out, this is what I think always happens:

1) Decide whether I want to do it
2) Make a plan
3) Follow the plan
4) Monitor the plan
5) If the plan is going in the right direction: good! If the plan is not going where I want it to: change or make a new plan and start at 1)
(I’m sure there are thousands of theories on this. This is just something from my own experience)

Lately, I’ve encountered certain situations where I went from 1 to 2 to 3, but at 4 and 5 I was at a loss. Monitoring a plan and know whether it’s going in the right direction requires some background knowledge and experience of the subject at hand. If it comes down to acquisition for my business, this background knowledge is close to zero for me.

What I also experienced is that this makes me feel restless, down, unsure or all the above. It creates chaos in my head. Not a good thing. So I started thinking about how I can do something about this.

There are two things I could do:
1) I could make a plan that will advance my understanding of how to do this and how to monitor this. This plan might encompass learning about acquisition and learning how to monitor it better. It might also entail making up my own strategies to see whether things are going in the right direction. Creativity together with knowledge can overcome anything! Fight this chaos and bring it down!
2) (and here it comes) I could teach myself how to be more comfortable in chaos. The thing here is, that I’m simply not used to not knowing what to do. I’m not used to not knowing for sure whether I’m doing ‘good things’ or going ‘the right way’. This not knowing is not something I can put into lists, structure or point at. It is scary, but at the same time I think there’s an important lesson to learn from it.

It is a fact that a human being can not know or learn EVERYTHING. If you have the feeling you’ve mastered something, this could either be true, or it could just be you, feeling like you’ve mastered it, while there’s in fact so much more to learn. If you realize there’s always another level to attain, your perspective changes and you realize how much you don’t know. There is always chaos around. Even if you don’t open your eyes to it.

Now, is that a bad thing? I think not. I will, however, make it unnecessarily difficult on myself if I do not learn how to deal with a situation in which I don’t exactly know what I’m doing (which, in my head, sometimes translates to chaos). Being comfortable in chaos, being able to progress despite uncertainties about the plan is something I’m willing to learn over time.

Note how I’m not saying you should not HAVE a plan. I think having a plan is good, because it provides you with something to hang on to. But. Clinging to a plan, however, is a very different story. So I think that both having a plan AND knowing how to detach yourself from the plan is the magic trick. Trying to control the chaos (by creating a plan) so you always have a next step to undertake, but at the same time knowing that you can’t control everything (by not clinging to having a plan). That’s how you keep being flexible. Once more, it’s all about letting go.

So my next question is: how do you do that? How do you learn to be comfortable in chaos?
As always, I have a plan :). I’m starting with fully experiencing the chaos. To teach myself how to be more comfortable in chaos. So hopefully, eventually, I can accept the chaos. I will fully acknowledge chaos when I’m experiencing it, with all the ever changing plans and struggles and uncertainty that comes with it, while being conscious this is what it is. Chaos. It will be hard work. But we will persevere!

Then, let’s see what happens.

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