You Don’t Always Need A Plan

You don't always need a plan
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“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.” – Mandy Hale

Dubbed as “The Single Woman”, Mandy Hale is a New York Times bestseller and author of 4 non-fiction books. Her first book, “The Single Woman: Life, Love & a Dash of Sass” cemented her career as an author and as the voice of empowerment for all single women.

The quote above talks about spontaneity: the ability to act in the present. Getting caught up in plans and schedules is so easy, that when something unexpected happens, we easily fall on our feet. Many people would rather stick to routines than do something for the first time and risk failing.

Realistically, life doesn’t always go as planned, but it is during unscripted moments that we form
relationships and have real adventures. Positive psychology says that people who practice mindfulness and spontaneity report lower self-consciousness and anxiety; they are also a tad happier.

Edward Slingerland’s book “Trying Not to Try” examines the various methods of spontaneity developed by Chinese thinkers. The one that shines the most is the Daoist Zhuangzhi’s belief that the key to spontaneity is simply to empty your mind and allow the flow of events to pull you along instead of resisting it. It is especially regarded as an antidote for writer’s block and stage fright.

American writer Henry Miller once said, “All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.” Spontaneity requires openness and courage — values that are equally essential with discipline and organization. In life, one should always expect the unexpected and have the guts to face the music.

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