Your Plans Amount to Nothing
I turned 30 at the start of 2019. It's one of those milestones that you're supposed to be prepared for, where you're deemed to now be a proper "adult", settle down, pop out kids, have a mortgage, etc. By the time my old man was 30, he already had 4 kids. I don't know how he did it. I have enough trouble keeping my sanity in line with a cat!
I have always been a big believer in making plans and striving towards your goals. Write them down, remind yourself of them daily, and make sure your actions are aligned with your vision. After my 30th birthday, I created a one-year, three-year, and ten-year vision.
But this post isn't about the success of goals. Instead, it's about how your goals can get shot to pieces, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it but roll with the punches and try again.
2019 was going to be my year. This was the year I planned to propose to my girlfriend, to substitute my income with my side business, to get my health and fitness to new peaks, to buy a house. To cease living in fantasy land, to grip life by the balls, and to be the man I know I could be. January 1st, 2019, two days before my birthday, I set my plan into motion.
January was my month. Everything was progressing great, with a few little setbacks of course, but that's to be expected.
On the 23rd, I had a cortisone shot for a torn AC joint in my shoulder, and something strange kept happening in my chest. Like all typical males, if I ignore it enough maybe it'll just disappear on its own, right? Perhaps it was the stress of looking at engagement rings. Guys - be warned, engagement ring shopping is like your first prostate exam. Horrendous. Colour, cut, clarity, setting, band, so many things to choose, and so much damn money ... But I had one picked, and I was ready to put a deposit down.
A week later, I had to admit to myself something wasn't right in my system. Standing up at work made me feel like the ground was spinning like a disco ball, and my boss decided it was time for me to go to the hospital. The ECG didn't lie - I was the recipient of a dodgy heart that suffered atrial fibrillation, or more specifically, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. That means there was a bad short circuit in my ticker, and my body had lost its ability to maintain a proper heartbeat. Fun times. Guess that engagement ring will have to wait until next week!
Four days later, February 5th, when I should have been recovering and keeping my heart rate low, my girlfriend and I had come to a mutual conclusion that, after five years, we weren't right for each other and it was time to go our separate ways. Hang on, wasn't I just about to put a deposit down on a ring? Ah well. Better now than in another five years.
So let's recap quickly.
My two pillars for 2019 were to get into peak fitness and to propose to my girlfriend. Yet five weeks into the year, these pillars were hacked at like money trees, with no possibility of recovery. Instead of success, I had both a literal AND metaphorical broken heart.
But that's ok, these things happen. Roll with the punches. We can do this. Six weeks of couch potato'ing and I undergo a cardiac ablation. And yes, you're awake when they tinker with your ticker. That's definitely an experience.
In May, I slowly began the process of rebuilding my life. To top it all off, my BMW motorcycle spontaneously combusted on the last warm night of the season.
But we can't stop and cry over these things. I slowly went back to the gym, wrote new goals, and re-entered the dating scene as a newly-minted 30-year-old single guy. On the plus side, I bought a Ducati. Silver linings.
But what about those plans I had at the start of the year? Well, I finally get to recall a Yiddish saying I heard a long time ago.
We plan, and God laughs.
And God had a full-on comedy special at my expense. I have a bone to pick with her when I cross over to the great beyond.
I did everything I was supposed to do. I ate well, I didn't drink much, I didn't touch drugs, I trained hard, I looked after myself, but at the end that didn't mean anything. My heart still gave out.
The fact of the matter is, you can't predict the future. You could go to bed tonight, and a Rolls Royce jet engine could crash through your roof and leave you as a puddle of goop under tonnes of rubble. And what do your plans mean then? Absolutely nothing.
Don't get me wrong. We all should make plans, set goals and work to achieve them, but don't forget to embrace the abundance around you, and remind those around you how grateful you are to have them in your life.
But most importantly, enjoy the little things. I still have clean drinking water on tap and working sanitation. A roof over my head, and people who love me. There are always people worse off than you.
Plan to experience gratitude, and you can never fail.