When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Let Go In Order to Have What Is

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ― Joseph Campbell

let go of expectationsLast month I had a couple of such experiences – I had planned to go for a coffee session with friends, and it turned out my friend was very late, and I was aware to catch myself with my first reaction “urghh… so late again”, right after catching myself with the grumbling, I switch to a questioning approach – “what if…”.  I let go of what was bothering me, I let go of what has just happened compared to what was planned…  I started wondering, what if I go round that corner of the street, what if I talk to this friendly chap… Indeed, new things started to happen. I chatted with a bunch of tourists who then inspired me to a new idea of how I want to communicate with different backgrounds of people.

What about a big disappointment to a planned goal?

Well, on a bigger scale of things, I had planned for a major event in my life recently. I planned to invest in two years of my time in a course of study and had worked for six months in the planning and application process. But as it turns out, I was not accepted into the University, and I was definitely disappointed and lost for a while.

Expectation and Comparison

For a period of time, I was going through the emotional turmoil – coming to terms with what I had built up in my plans, the expectation of what could be and now what is different.  Thoughts of “Why not?” , “What should I do next?” kept coming up.  At the end of these emotions is a typical “This is the one, I don’t want anything else.” – an “either this or nothing else works in my life” ultimatum.

Step 1: Acknowledgement & Letting Go

So how did I deal with all these for the past two months?

The faster we can come out of the emotional roller coaster is to acknowledge it.  The more we want to push it down, ignore it or supplement it with something else, with blame to other directions, the more it will come back and repeat itself.  I don’t resist these emotions and thoughts. After few days of beating myself up, I started to acknowledge my state – by telling myself first, “ok, I am truly sad and disappointed”, and let the feelings flow… I even declared to my family, “today is a sad day” and I give it time, a specific slot – one day to be sad.  I talked to my partner and expressed all that I feared, confused, sadness, everything. Acknowledging our emotions is a message or signal to say I am ready to face it.  And mentally giving it a time slot, your subconscious mind will remind you the next day, “ok, now what’s next?”.

Step 2: Use Your Right Brain

develop intuition - conscious action into unconsciousOk enough of the left brain, rationalizing and analyzing how things had turned out to be.  Start to use your right brain – no questioning, jump on an idea and just do one thing different at a time. Call up a different university, ask a friend, try out one thing.  Indeed, something new inspired me! I dare myself to try one thing different each day.  One morning, the nagging thoughts came back and irked me so much, I jumped up and act on the first thing that came to my mind – I called the University and chatted with the Professor to understand more of the situation. I listened to my intuition, and act on the idea.  I called up another University after much research. I found a new area of study that I wasn’t even aware of!

The universe is filled with abundance and possibilities, it’s how we find it, at what time in our life. When we are ready to embrace it, it’s there for us to explore.


Step 3: Experience and CREATE

At this point I had some new ideas and inspired actions, I started to make new plans! 🙂experience when things don't go as planned

Each action leads to the next and the next… and soon I found myself with visions drawn up for the new goal.  And then all of a sudden I had a flashback of the emotion I had, the disappointment. It surprised me! I thought I had been through all that. But I realised this time, I was able to do it fast – acknowledge it, let go and act on something new.

The thing is when we create something new, we transform from the old. We can never deny the past, but when we have new possibilities, we don’t put any more time, focus and emotions on that old thing, we work on and on with the new possibility and then it become a part of our life, a part of our current.



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