Planning ahead is always a good idea.
That is unless you do the wrong kind of planning ahead.
Here’s a snippet of a recent conversation I had with my husband in which we were discussing some upcoming plans, specifically that there was a potential for something to not go the way we really wanted it to the following week.
Hubby: If that happens I am going to be really annoyed.
Me: So you are planning to be annoyed next Wednesday?
Hubby [laughing]: Yes, I guess I am.
Have you ever done that?
Sure you have. We all do it.
We plan in our heads that if _____ happens, then I am going to feel _____.
That’s definitely the wrong kind of planning ahead.
It’s wrong because it’s just not a particularly good use of your time. When we plan ahead to be annoyed, angry, irritated, or frustrated we are simply setting ourselves on a negative and unproductive path.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling any of those emotions.
We all get ticked off at circumstances or situations. But when we anticipate that a situation might not unfold the way we want and then use our time to predetermine our negative reaction, we give up the opportunity to choose something more proactive.
If you are going to bother planning ahead, there’s a more effective way of doing it.
When you think that there is a potential for things to turn out differently than what you want, begin by focusing on what you do want to happen. If there is a chance that you can actually affect the outcome, you will be more successful if you are not feeling angry or frustrated.
Here’s a powerful question to use:
How can we make this happen?
Imagine if you asked the other party that question. Sometimes there is a simple solution even if it’s not the usual one. Remember too that we are less likely to find a workable solution when we are clouded by negative emotions.
In the instance when things are just not going to work out the way you want, instead of being angry or irritated, decide how you want to handle the circumstances as they are. When circumstances can’t change, then the only option is to change how you are being in the midst of the circumstances.
Often we can’t control what’s happening but we can always control how we are responding to it.
So if you are going to plan ahead, do it wisely. It’s a much better use of your time and energy to create what you want, rather than react to what you don’t want.
and after that little conversation with my husband, he asked:
“You’re going to write a blog about that, aren’t you?”