It’s human nature to find a cause to the effect. And speaking of cause and effect, I thought I’d share with you a little insight on how 2012 panned out for me. I was tasked with making a decision that would affect my future. Dramatic, well no, not really or so I thought in April. It was a simple choice of: apply for my visa now or apply at the end of the year and turn it into a Christmas holiday with the family. I chose the former, I mean who wouldn’t? Especially me, it’s been two years since I’ve seen my mum and dad, my sister and niece and I haven’t even met my new nephew yet. Not to mention my old school friends – it’s been too long since I’ve felt the warm embrace of mama Africa.
How was I to know that the UK’s immigration policy would change and that my decision to apply at the end of the year would effectively mean I cannot continue my life here in London past the 26th of January 2013. And just like that my life has been turned upside down. Everything I had been working for has been disrupted. The plan I had in place now requires a serious rethink.
In pondering how I could have ‘planned’ better so that this could not have happened I am faced with an iron clad reality: “The best laid schemes of men and mice go often awry” (Robert Burns’ poem To a Mouse, 1786). The best of plans can, and often do fail. And well that is life, isn’t it? We plot and plan and this becomes the driving force of our life. But when it doesn’t work out, we become frustrated, disappointed and all that drive withers away. The plan is marked as failed, and for most of us it’s a simple equation of failure = fear and so to avoid further failure, we adopt the ‘Que Sera, Sera’ approach: “What will be, will be.”
If you’ve read my past posts, you will know that I don’t buy into that! As I’ve said, I’m very much the captain of my own destiny and believe that in order to succeed we must learn from every situation. And the lesson I have learnt is to have more than one path to my destination.
I am a huge believer in the power of setting goals. I believe they direct us, they give us purpose and they make our journey achievable. When we set goals for ourselves, it gives us something to aim for and if you know what you’re aiming for, you are more likely to succeed. Imagine you are asked to shoot an arrow… if there is no target or nothing to shoot at – how would you succeed?
“If we have no goals, we have no destination and subsequently there will be no journey.” Dinesh Joseph
While goals need to be fixed (so we know what we are aiming for) plans need to be fluid. When we create fluid plans, we are naturally more adaptable and instinctively start to seek solutions rather than problems. Instead of obstacles we see challenges and by engaging this type of mentality, we increase our chances of meeting our goals.
Looking back, it would be easy to say I got it wrong and as a consequence my life path has been dramatically altered. However, I’m optimistic and I am looking at this as an opportunity to redefine my ageing plan (seven years old to be exact). And while my goal has not changed (completely), my plans to achieve it have had to be adapted. I am looking forward to my new journey.
Wish me luck, 2013 is going to be a great year!