In my life, I've swung between two extremes in terms of making plans for my life, and none of these methods have worked for me.
My first approach was that I was very extreme and rigid about making plans for my life. Part of this was being young and easily influenced by my environment, which encouraged me to make these plans, but part of it came from myself too. I willingly chose to make plans for my life and stick to them.
In high school, my plan was to get into college, an extremely good one. I had to get very good grades. And be involved in a lot of good extracurricular activities.
When I was in college, my plan was to get good grades and get into the major that I thought I was supposed to be in, a very difficult one, based on what everyone told me. When that didn't work out, then I stopped making plans for my life, for a bit.
After college, my plan was to get into law school, a very good one. I had to do well on the lsat, write a good essay, get good recommendations, and have some extracurricular activities.
In law school, I had a breakdown of sorts. It wasn't just because of law school. It was because of everything; the way I had been living my whole life.
Anyway, this approach didn't work for me. I mapped out my next steps, so specifically. Yes, this approach usually got me results, but at the expense of really caring about what I was doing anymore. I put so much energy into executing and achieving my plans, that I didn't have adequate energy to focus on why I cared about them to begin with. Maybe that's why I spent so much energy on executing my plans; it stopped me from having to really evaluate things and be honest.
I think a much better plan, or approach to life for me back then, would have been, to have a more general goal of being independent in life, doing something I could tolerably enjoy. That would still have been a goal I could have put energy into and worked on, and gotten good results with. I didn't have to be so specific about what I needed to do with my life next.
After law school, I swung to the other extreme. I had a plan and goals, but it was very fuzzy. My plan for my life was some nebulous concept of being married/having good relationships with people in my life/liking myself/being independent/being kind/being happy.
Now, I was really getting to the root of what was important to me in life, but my plan was so hazy, I didn't have any specific or concrete steps of how I was going to accomplish this. My execution consisted of listening to and following my instincts on things, as they came up. I didn't know what I had to do ahead of the time, for anything. The result was that I actually cared about things now and had a heart, but I made very little progress on my goal(s).
So, I'm 33 years old. I don't know if that's old or not, depends who you ask. But I feel like I have...not necessarily lived through a lot of experiences...but...I have been through a lot. Maybe I have a little bit of wisdom.
I've learned that the only way to get through life--successfully, in heart--is to be somewhere in between these two extremes. Which isn't easy. That's an understatement, but I don't want to go on and on about how tough life is. This is how I think it is best for anyone to approach life.
I have goals and plans for how I want to end and/or leave certain things in my life, when something with Jesse starts. Starting something with Jesse will change a lot of things in my life. Changes which need some preparation, starting now.
I have longer-term goals for what I want my life to be like in a few to five years, but there's also quite a bit of fuzziness there too.
So, my goals and plans for my life aren't as specific and rigid as they used to be. Nor are they so undefined that I hardly think about the future in concrete terms.
It's hard operating this way, because this is when I am fully invested in, really caring, about things. I have goals that really do have deep meaning to me. And as I'm taking steps towards achieving them, I'm becoming more and more invested in them. All of this requires bravery/love, having confidence in my judgment and abilities, and letting go/being humble to life.
Some people say we shouldn't hold onto things in life too tightly, our goals, and care about them too much. I disagree with them. I think we should care about all our goals, passionately. We have to be alive in our hearts; otherwise we're just people using up the oxygen source on earth. BUT, we should also be totally okay with whatever happens in life too. These two mindsets are not mutually exclusive.