Planning to be Spontaneous
Do you ever just “go with the flow” ??
I do sometimes… but only when I plan for it.
There are days and certain times where I plan to just do whatever feels right, and that isn’t very often. Maybe I’ll leave a Saturday afternoon up to chance, or spend one evening after work just doing whatever feels right.
Most of the time I have a dedicated calendar and specific tasks or objectives for that the corresponding time frame.
I’m notorious among my friends and peers for having schedules for everything — down to the minute sometimes.
If I’m working on the weekend (which I always am) I usually map out a breakdown of what I intend to do.
Most of the time, I stick to it very closely.
I like to control what I can control — and that’s where I spend my time and energy.
A CALCULATED CALENDAR IN ACTION
Let’s look at today, Saturday, June 6 as an example:
8:00 am wakeup and daily morning routine
9:30 am workout and stretching
10:00 am talk to grandmother and document audiobook notes
10:30 am go for a run and do some sprints
11:30 am eat. back to work and watch an online video course while documenting book notes from a print book
2:30 pm laundry and do some prep work for later
3:30 pm grocery store
5:00 pm read and eat
6:15 pm begin writing Medium pieces for the week
And here we are. I had a little bit of flexibility throughout the day (I really wanted to wake up at 6:30 am was quite tired from a few late nights earlier in the week.
But after the writing, I kind of left a little open slot for whatever came up and whatever I felt best at that time.
That could be visiting with a friend, could be reading, or could be some more writing or work. What I do during that time depends on what I feel best in that moment.
The difference is that some people live out the majority of their days in that way.
People go here and there without much of a plan or strategy.
Without knowing what the objective or goal is, how do you ever know if you’re achieving your desired outcome?? You don’t.
As the old adage goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Nobody wants to fail.
A FEW WORDS FROM OTHERS ABOUT SPONTANEITY
“The world wants to assign you a role. The minute you accept that role? You’re doomed.” — Robert Greene
100%. We can only control what we want to control and we have a choice to make. Are we going to listen to God or are we going to listen to the world? God created us for a divine purpose and it’s up to us to find that purpose and truly achieve it. The difficult truth is that most people are going to direct us in a direction that is better for them but not for our destiny.
“Spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art.” ― Oscar Wilde
One of the great writers in modern history, Oscar emphasizes that it’s important to prepare for spontaneity. The most free-flowing and creative people have worked at their craft for years and years — and that’s incredibly difficult to do without discipline. Many modern writers that I follow closely have dedicated writing times. This means that their creativity is “unboxed” during set intervals. I do the same thing. I have my writing night on Saturday (though most professionals write daily) and sometimes I write both pieces in only an hour while other days I am required to spend upwards of 3 hours.
“You can devise all the plans in the world, but if you don’t welcome spontaneity; you will just disappoint yourself.” ― Abigail Biddinger
I’m with this 100% and here’s why. Richard Branson preaches that we should ALWAYS say yes when there’s an incredible opportunity in front of us. Grant Cardone advocates for committing first and figuring the rest out later. But I don’t see that as spontaneity because we were intentionally seeking incredible opportunities.
“The more you go with the flow of life and surrender the outcome to God, and the less you seek constant clarity, the more you will find that fabulous things start to show up in your life.” ― Mandy Hale
While I live with a lot of plans and dedicated schedules and numerous other disciplined environments, the biggest thing that I’ve adopted in the last few years is that of confirming with God first. Whenever I make a large change in my schedule — like a new house or a new job — I strive to seek God’s affirmation, confirmation, or guidance first. It’s not an easy thing for me all the time but I’m working towards doing that for small things also. God has a much greater vision for my life than I could ever think up on my own. We need to control what we can control and do so with the help of God always.
“I don’t go with the flow, nor do I go against it. I create my own.” ― Laurie Buchanan, PhD
3 STEPS TO A DEDICATED FREE-FLOWING LIFE
There are a few things that I do to maintain discipline and move forward in all areas.
FIRST, I end each evening by reflecting on the previous day and journaling 3 things that I did well along with 2 areas to improve. I also add 5 daily goals for the next day that are my overarching focus.
SECOND, I plan what to do with my time and money and energy before I get it so that I can use the excess for whatever I desire — while ensuring that the most important tasks and responsibilities are accounted for.
THIRD, I make offers. When I communicate with people, I freestyle it. Usually, I won’t say the time first and ask for a few. I can more often than not make one of the two or three times a possibility.
Tony Robbins talks about “The Niagara Syndrome” and shares that he looks at life as a river. Far too many of us, he writes, “jump on the river of life without ever really deciding where they want to end up. So, in a short period of time, they get caught up in the current: current events, current fears, current challenges.”
When I “plan” to be spontaneous, I prevent that — proactively.
I’m incredibly aware of the accounts I follow on social media and I have a reason for each and every person that I follow.
I’m on top of my calendar — and I control it.
I’m tapped into who I am and I abide by that in all settings, I don’t compromise.
I don’t know another way.
“We can have more of everything in this world, but we will never have more guaranteed time.” — Harrison Wendland