I love the end of the school year. Everything seems imbued with hope, just like the latest class of funny-hat-wearing graduates to cross the stage. They all have big plans and outsized dreams.
Eventually, we wake up when we’re 30… 40… 50… 60 (sidebar: isn’t it funny how we only seem to do major self reflection on round number birthdays? No one freaks out that they’re 43 and 5 months old and haven’t done anything with their life yet! I digress…) So we wake up and suddenly the path we’re on is nothing like the one we hatched as a hope-filled grad.
We all face disappointments and setbacks in work and life, most of which we wouldn’t choose for ourselves, at least when they’re happening. Being laid off from your dream job. Watching your company go out of business overnight. Losing someone you care about. The details change for each of us, but the challenges are similar.
This quote from writer Sarah Ban Breathnach sums it up nicely. “…success in life is not how well we execute Plan A; it’s how smoothly we cope with Plan B.”
Coping smoothly when life smacks you in the face is tough, especially when you’ve been working on Plan A for a while. But coping is a whole lot more effective than complaining and wishing for the past. Acknowledging and accepting where you’re at is the only thing that allows you to develop a plan to move forward. It’s not the original path you charted, but it’s the path you’re on now.
As the wise and delightfully eccentric Doc Brown says in Back to the Future, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” It’s time to figure out Plan B (or C or D or Z!), with or without roads!
If you need help figuring out what direction to head, you are welcome to reach out to me.