Saturday, January 28, 2012

In Life, are you a Plotter or a Panster? And are you Happy About it?

Nope, I'm not talking to authors...or at least not in the capacity of their jobs as writers. I'm wondering how people go about living their lives. Are you the type of person who gets up every day with a short range plan embedded inside a long range plan? Do you make lists, check each thing off as you move through your day, and feel either inadequate or proud at the end of the day according to how you did on that list? Your list could be a mental one, it doesn't have to be written down. (I used to write mine down but eventually I went underground with it...lest I risk having a scarlet A for anal retentive branded on my chest.)

Or do you have a flower child hidden beneath your skin? Do you move through your life like a dandelion in a soft breeze, weaving this way or bending that way...according to how you feel in the moment or what life throws your way?

Maybe you've been both, as I have. Perhaps you were a panster in your youth, but as you got older you decided you had way too much to do to stay free like the wind, or something loomed large enough in your dreams to require a pathway for achieving it.  That would probably describe me. Actually, nowadays, I try to wear both hats, just as I do in my writing.

Interesting that. Hmmmm. (Extreme moment of self-realization...pain, angst, terror...okay, I'm good now.)

I used to make scrupulous lists, on paper, each day, and carefully cross out each item as I completed it. When I got ready for bed I'd catalogue my failures (never my successes of course #:0) and mentally add them to the list for the next day. The result of that was that I was almost never pleased with my output for the day, and some days, life got to be nothing more than just a big race to the finish line.

With age came great wisdom... No, really! I'm very wise. Okay, now stop that smirking...right now. If I have to stop this car you're gonna get it! Why I aughta...

Ahum, anyhooo, I'd love to tell you that I stopped making lists. That I float through life with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, but the reality is that, for me, a strong Type A personality (yes, the secret's out!), living like a 60s hippie would give me angina rather than a smile. I'm not talking about the not showering part (hehehe, don't try to deny it!) though that would certainly crimp my style, I'm talking about the whole concept of just sitting back and hoping for the best.

In my world, if you want to get from point A to point B, you really need to get off your tukus and plot that journey. It's highly unlikely you will happen upon it by accident. The great GPS in the sky is unlikely to drop on your head and bark out directions for achieving your goals. (Turn right here...turn RIGHT HERE...recalculating) And it's even less likely that somebody will pick you up and carry you to the destination of your choice. You need to get there on your own.

Now, of course, that assumes you have a destination in mind. If you don't, that's cool. I can admire a free spirit...I just can't be one. #:0)

So what about you? Do you have a burning desire to accomplish a set of goals, both short and long term, in your life? Or are you just as happy watching the sun set and listening to the bees buzz in your backyard? Either way, I urge you to find your happy place and do your best to expand it.

Life's way too short to bind yourself in self-imposed misery.

2 comments:

Me: said...

What a great blog! I tend to be a planner, goal setter, list maker. I do fully enjoy a little drive-by pants-ing every once in a while. I control what I know I can and then try to not worry too much about everything else. Happy Friday!

Sam Cheever said...

What a great way to approach life! If we all had your point of view there would be a lot more smiles in the world. #:0) Thanks so much for stopping by!