By Shefa Ali
This week we had one of those unplanned and unexpected situations, the plan was to go to the Netherlands to visit an elderly and sick family member. We had the relevant paperwork, but the immigration officer on the other end of the phone that day at the airport, decided our supporting documents were not enough, so sadly we couldn’t board the flight. Covid keeping family apart is still very difficult to deal with. Crushed at the thought of not spending Eid as we had planned, we decided to use the vacation and travel to Morocco.
Life – we have our schedules filled and booked up for our week ahead, we think we know what we will be doing each day and when we’ll be doing it. But then something unexpected happens and you find yourself having to completely change everything you had planned out. You find yourself having to scramble last minute to figure out how to re-plan.
Life is full of curve balls that come up and mess up our best plans. It is simply a part of life that cannot be stopped from happening. Family members fall ill, accidents happen, there are all kinds of unexpected things that come up and force us to modify our plans, so when they do we have to make sure we don’t allow ourselves to let those feelings of disappointment, frustration, and stress to overtake us. The moment we do, we have pretty much ensured ourselves that whatever the new plan is will be a miserable experience for us.
I used to allow the unexpected to really get to me, I would be frustrated and stressed out because in my mind all I could think of was that my perfect plans were messed and nothing new I planned in its place would ever be as good, so I would go into the new plan certain that it would be nowhere as good as what I had originally planned.
Experience has taught me that it is actually 100% within my control to have a totally different attitude when plans had to change. I can decide that rather than focusing on what ‘could have been’ I can focus on thinking that perhaps this change in plan was meant to bring something better into my life. Of course, it’s often hard at the beginning, to picture what could be better when you had your own great plan already, but that’s the beauty of it – our minds can’t see all the other possibilities of what special things might happen because of this new plan. So maybe, just maybe, there is something a million times more wonderful that never would have come about if something unexpected hadn’t forced our plans to change.
• The author is a consultant and coach. Instagram handle: @miss_shefa, Website: missshefa.com
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