Did you know ‘winging it' is a theatrical expression which refers to improvised performances that actors or actresses who had swiftly learned their lines while waiting in the wings.
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.” ~Mandy Hale
Trying to plan everything, wanting everything to go the way you imagined? This can be particularly overwhelming during difficult or stressful periods. It is a harmless trait that more often than not is fueled by the positive desire to ‘have control’ in overseeing that everything will be good and regardless of the situation or moment will be the optimal it could be.
The past has gone. The future is unpredictable. But today is certain. And what we can do is control simply what is within our capabilities to control. Nothing more. Nothing Less. We tend to feel out of control when faced with an ‘uncontrollable’ i.e. weather, other people, unforeseen accidents. Take a mental step back, think adaptability! Write down everything that you can control, accept the possibility of any outcome but trust yourself that you have the tool set necessary to deal with what you’re faced with.
Your life is a story, with many chapters. We have future goals, where we see ourselves, what we will achieve, but there are many routes to one destination. Allow your life to be a journey, a story which unfolds with time, let it be unpredictable, allow an element of surprise- this removes the tension of always striving for perfection and instead creates calmness and control, which leads to happiness and excitement.
Ever felt the ‘post goal blues?’. Targeted a personal goal or set high standards and you’ve succeeded in achieving it, only to feel deflated and lost for your next steps? We strive to live our lives with purpose, and a directive path, continuing to growth and learn, never be afraid to live ‘outside the box’ and take those calculated risks. Every experience is an opportunity, regardless if its positive or negative, it’s a chance to grow. Negatives can be positives too!
In 2015 I decided to enter a men’s physique competition. Training consisted of a 12 week programme, broken down into days then hours. An extremely intense and extreme lifestyle and mindset. Every hour I knew what exercise or rest I was doing, followed by the exact timing and what to eat- measured down to the grams and nutrients. It detailed in every aspect, I was obsessed and missing a bit, or winging it is not an option! 12 weeks requires tunnel vision, selfish acts and my world revolved around competition. The moment id finished competing, I got home and felt lost- what now, what next? I mentally wanted to switch off, but I couldn’t shift the feeling of I need to create a daily programme.
Being so regimented with a plan eliminated my creativity, in life we need a balance. Healthy balanced structured routine. Be sure to deliver what’s required of the task ahead of you but also to include scheduled ‘you’ or ‘away’ time. This will re-energize your mental space and thought process, ultimately allowing you to continue focusing for longer periods of time
Patience is a virtue
When I look back over the last 5-6 years I can see the changes I’ve made to my mindset, one of them is having a healthy balance between strict planning and “winging it”. Soon after the competition I moved to Dubai which didn’t have a strict plan, or specific goals, I literally decided to do this within one day and six weeks later I was there. Living in a different country, driving on the other side of the road, different laws, working with people from different parts of the world, new lifestyle and much more. I used all my experiences that I’ve gained into this new life I was about to enter. Did this approach work out, completely “winging it”? to a degree. In hindsight I look back and see what I could’ve done differently, but I use these learning curves in decisions I make now. Importance should be placed into the direction we choose to pursue and the purpose we give to where and who we want to be. Making sure to allow opportunities to be creative and welcome the surprises. More importantly allow yourself to learn and be patient.