Make A Plan For 2021. – Change is scary. And intentional change – change that you implement as opposed to the natural changes that occur over time – is difficult. That’s probably one reason why meaningful change doesn’t happen too often. Change is also a strange thing. Make A Plan For 2021. While in one sense, it is our responsibility to take action and control over our lives if we expect anything to change, it’s also paradoxically true that if we don’t actively work to maintain what we have, it’ll slowly dwindle away. Perhaps positive change is intentional and negative change just happens all on its own. 2020 has been a strange year and it was full of change. Most change seemed outside of our control, driven by the universe and not ourselves. 2020 is leaving us all in a very different place than it found us.
It seems like many of us are busy doing everything we can to not lose a step, never mind trying to get ahead.
It’s easy to find yourself in a cycle of working just to keep afloat. It can feel like you are working tirelessly just so you don’t lose any ground. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland there is a comment that the Red Queen makes to Alice that sums it up nicely, ‘My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.’ That’s a good metaphor for life – and especially life in 2020. It seems like many of us are busy doing everything we can to not lose a step, never mind trying to get ahead. Just holding the ground we’ve taken throughout the years feels as tough as taking new ground.
Intentional change is hard enough, but certain change happens all on its own. But the additionally rewarding thing about making progress during the midst of adversity is that when easier times come back around, those that have been managing even slight progress will find themselves in the midst of a slingshot effect. A sudden, seemingly out-of-nowhere launch forward. In our lives we are either planning life or a byproduct of random happenstance. To be sure, even planning your life will not insulate you from all of the disasters and pains that are sure to befall us all, but it can serve to at least buffer you from being completely helpless when the tough times do come. Because you can be sure the hard days are coming – and they’ll likely stick around longer and occur on a much more frequent basis if you’re operating without a plan.
The only strategy in life that we have is to make a plan. To assess ourselves and our current situation, making an inventory of our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and formulating a course towards a better tomorrow. Of course, there’s still no guarantee of success but it’s the best option we’ve got. And not planning is simply not an option, unless we want to discover just how chaotic and unruly a life with no plan can really become. With no plan in place, you’ll look around in a few short years and find yourself in proverbial quicksand with no recollection of you got there, and A LOT of hard work if you every hope to get yourself out.
One thing is for sure in life, our only hope is to have a plan. So make a plan, and work the plan.
In short time, there will have been a quasi-prison constructed all around you that you will have to overcome to get control of your life back. Because chaos is the natural state of things. It just happens. Our environment, physical, social, mental, grows according to its own whims without regard to you or your preferences. Order is created by the imposition of our planning and intention over the chaos as it exists. Order cannot be maintained by disregarding the chaos, but by regarding it. You have to plan for chaos. It’s the world we inhabit. It’s where phase one starts.
One thing is for sure in life, our only hope is to have a plan. So make a plan, and work the plan. And don’t think you’ll be bored with a plan. If you actually formulate a plan and begin to work it, you’ll start seeing new opportunities you would have otherwise never seen. And these usually aren’t financial, though they may lead to increased financial opportunities. A few examples might be opportunities to become a better spouse, or child, or friend, or parent, or sibling, or employee, or boss, or community servant. But you won’t find any of them if you don’t become intentional. You can’t spend all of your time trying to keep what you have, because what you have will eventually fade away. Nothing is permanent. Nothing was ever meant to be permanent. Even if you think nothing is changing, rest assured everything is changing. Rest assured, we live in a constant state of flux.
Every job has some opportunity to grow and develop in some way, whether I has to do with your immediate job or not.
Now, to tie this to your career. Many of us have career ambitions that are much more grand than where we are at the moment. We might have at least a vague sense of what “success” means for us. But without a plan in place to achieve your goals, the chances are practically zero that you will be able to get there. Developing a meaningful, rewarding career is not a separate thing from developing a meaningful, rewarding life. The two are actually threaded together to create the bulk of our existence from about 18 years old and on. Our work is how we positively engage with our community and the world around us. It helps us “find our place” in the world. And no job is too small to start planning. Every job has some opportunity to grow and develop in some way, whether I has to do with your immediate job or not. For instance, if you are a cook at a fast food restaurant you can learn so much more while you are there than just how to follow the policies and procedures behind grilling the perfect hamburger. You can learn empathy for coworkers. How to motivate others on your team to perform better. How to set and achieve goals for yourself. When is an appropriate time to take a break and when your team needs you. In any position, there are things you can pick up that go deeper than your job description.
And like life, a career without a plan has a way of taking years of your life in return for a place in the quicksand. It’s all too easy to just go with the flow, perform our required tasks on autopilot, look for the easy way to get our job done, not to innovate but simply to minimize your role, and to day dream about what one day being employed in your perfect job. Which doesn’t exist, as you may have heard me say before. It doesn’t exist because you actively create it every single day. There is not a job description that could be written because it is something you work towards constantly. And it will never exist until you create it. And you will never create it until it is well defined and you have it planned out to the last detail.
Life and career both become quicksand to those who fail to make a goal and a plan. Without intention, things get away from us. So make it a goal to plan your 2021 so that you can begin directing the outcomes of your future. Don’t let it unfold the same way your 2020 did. Take back control. Get a job. But get a job with a plan. Don’t just work for an income, if you do that, you are missing so much more. Your job is your path to your next job, and your next job. With a well thought out plan, you can take a job for minimum wage and within two years you can be earning a comfortable middle class income. Because a minimum wage job isn’t a dead end, it’s a starting point. Don’t be afraid to use it strategically. You have to start where you’re at, there’s no where else to start. If you go on autopilot with your career, you’ll find yourself being very busy, with little to no time to focus on planning your way out. You’ll find the words of the Red Queen will ring very true, ‘My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.’
TRAC Staffing can help you get started! Call us today at 479-783-9230 and get your career on a fast track today!
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