This was not my Plan
'I bet this wasn't your plan for this afternoon', said Suzeta to a feral cat as she expertly caught hold of her neck and placed her in the wire cage. Suzeta is an expert cat catcher. She spends her working life catching feral cats in order that they can be spayed or neutered and live a more tranquil peaceful life in the sun. In other words she is a mistress of surprise, constantly working off another plan.
Watching her at work we were forced to think about the number of times we had a plan for the day and some other force came into our lives and gave us different choices. We were reflecting how many times an opportunity had arisen only to be rejected in favour of the status quo. How many times we had been so focussed on our predetermined plan that we missed or nearly missed a great opportunity.
In the 1990's we had our own training business and saw an advertisement by a major British Company for trainers to be part of a team responsible for training staff for oncoming technology. They wanted experienced trainers to work with the sales team to get them to a place where they could accept change and even envelop it. But there was two things wrong. One, the fees offered were not what I thought I was worth and secondly, it was working with other freelance trainers I didn't know. However, after great persuasion and pressure from Julie; I sent my CV (resume). A few days later, I received an invitation to meet the co-ordinator of the project. But, it was 300 miles away so I put it in the too difficult basket on my desk and hoped it would go away.
A few weeks passed and the co-ordinator rang to ask whether I received his letter and to confirm my attendance.I said 'No, I was not coming', about three times during the conversation. But to my amazement on the following Monday morning I found myself on the early morning train going to meet him.
We met, enjoyed each others company and had a great deal in common, both in our expertise and the way in which we thought such a project should progress. But, I decided I didn't want it, using insufficient fees as the excuse. However, about two weeks later he 'phoned to say that he had put my case before the Managing Director and he had agreed to increase the fee to what, I had to accept, was a very generous offer. I couldn't refuse.
To cut a long story short. I worked with the co-ordinator for 3 years on this project, had a great time, met some marvellous people and learned a great deal.
But all could have been lost because I was unwilling to change my plan. I had a plan of the type of work I did and who I did it with and how I got it. But fortunately in this case it was as though it didn't matter how much I said 'No' destiny was determined I was going to work with them and if I didn't listen the first time then it would keep pushing.
Just think for a moment:
How many times have you buried our head in the sand. Kept focussed on something that was finished, used up, dry.
How many times have you kept travelling on the same path, the same road through habit even though there is nothing there.
How many times have you decided to change jobs but ensure you look for the same type of job. Staying within the boundaries you know.
What is it about us that we prefer to stick to the boring, frustrating, easy option rather than exert ourselves, apply our minds and go for what we are capable of achieving.
What is it inside us that prefers the easy path even though we have to tell lies to ourselves that it is best for us and our families.
What is it that when we are not earning enough we reduce our outgoings, scrape a living and then tell ourselves how lucky we are.
Why do we accept second best?
We often accept second best because we have come to accept it as the norm. Often, at some stage in our lives we have had the experience of someone important to us constantly criticising our actions, giving us their opinion of where we were going wrong or judging the way we look, behave or speak. The result is that we have come to accept these projections as true and embrace them as our natural behaviour.
Do you have an inner voice that says what you: ought, should, must do?
Or does your voice constantly criticise you and tell you that you are not good enough, who do you think you are, that wont work etc.
Instead of accepting the labels others have given you and you have attached to yourself listen to and accept your strengths, be open to the opportunities that come your way. In a phrase:
BE OPEN TO CHANGING YOUR PLANS.
It's OK to change your plan. I doesn't matter how many people you have told. In our experience; finding your true potential cannot be found by following the advice of others. Neither can it be found by watching and copying the behaviours of others. The answer is in you. Listen to your strengths, be open to the opportunities that come your way.
Graham and Julie
About the Author
Graham and Julie live in the Canary Islands where they pursue their love for writing, photography and spirituality. To see more of their work please go to:
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