Is planning giving us a sense of security or are we simply addicted to being in control? Are we ruled by anxiety and obsession or common sense and responsibility?
Planning is a fascinating human skill. We often don't even realise how fully planned our lives are. From our daily engagements and religious holidays to the TV program and the kids school calendars, our lives are just one long schedule. Families arranging their vacations a year ahead and booking their doctor's appointments six months in advance, brides planning the colour of their Thank you notes and some people go as far as arranging their own funerals.
We plan even subconsciously. All our acting habits, thinking patterns and comfort zones are stored in our subconscious mind and the mind is constantly working and planning on how to keep us consistently in that same mental realm.
I am not a particularly obsessive planner and sometimes even thrive under the pressures of the unplanned, but I certainly love being in control. Good planning skills are vital in avoiding emotional and physical hardship, in implementing our ideas and reaching our goals, but where are the boundaries to where planning turns into a controlling behaviour? Are those two close relatives, total strangers or do they reinforce each-other?
I've read somewhere once that, planning is a meaningless exertion without control, and control is baseless without the foundations of planning. If all that is true, why are we prising everyone for their planning abilities, but cursing them for their controlling tendencies?
If a parent plans ahead and saves for many years to create a good college fund for their kids , but it turns out the kids do not wish to enter into the fields of further education, was that a good planning behaviour or a controlling gesture that eventually brought up disappointment and hard feelings?
Parallel with all the planning modern life requires and all the conscious and subconscious need for control, I personally, have to deal with my appetite for spontaneity, and finding a healthy balance between those it's not an easy task.
I find my life to be an array of constantly changing circumstances and in order to successfully manage everything, I have to clearly adapt to the variety of the increasing demands. Therefore, drafting even the near future isn't always very efficient. I like planning to a certain extend, it is said to be the right thing to do, it definitely gives me peace and minimising my stress levels, but on the other hand, it often brings me disappointments and unnecessary tension. Same as with being spontaneous, it makes me excited and expresses my inner desires, but it can be damaging and sometimes even stupid. But when it comes to control....damn, that thing always feels good. I guess we'll never fully understand our behavioural patterns and innermost expressions. But as long as we are managing some internal happiness and we aren't hurting anyone, it means that planning, control and spontaneity are all in harmony and we aren't in desperate need of therapy.
Aim for balance.....and don't forget to smile!