You probably don’t know me that well, but for those who do will tell you that I love to be in control and would have every detail mapped out months in advance. I’m strategic and like to know what’s going to happen next.
This is a wonderful trait to have for someone in my line of work – organising change, making it happen and then ensuring that people know about it. So what’s the downside? Well, if you’re in the process of radically changing your life – sometimes, you can’t plan months in advance – you gotta roll with things day to day.
I can’t tell you what I’m doing next week, let alone next month!
In the process of moving overseas, there were many things that needed to be done. Confirming that it could be done, working out how to do it, letting people know that we wanted to move – then actually making it happen. All seems pretty logical.
What I found was my poor little mind struggling to think ahead too many steps – because the outcome of each of the milestones would dramatically alter what was required for the next step. For instance – Getting rid of as much stuff as you can from your home, then working out what you may need to store or relocate with you. This could go either way – you may end up with a bunch of stuff to store, which then leads you to ‘how am I going to store this stuff? Will I need a storage cage? How much will that cost? Will this eat into my savings?’
We were fortunate and were able to get rid of most of our stuff and keep our remaining belongings with our family, but it could have easily required an ongoing monthly storage cost – which of course, would change our available budget for the move. So, before this was sorted I could not even work out how we would get to London or which airline to fly – as our baggage allowance would really dictate a lot of this.
Miraculously though, once we had a firm understanding of how we were going to tackle the remaining belongings, I was free to start thinking of the next thing. It was as if some heavy fog had lifted and the way became clear (how cliché).
This is just one example, but there were many many different aspects that needed to be planned and executed at the same time – playing havoc with my need to plan every little detail before I hit the ‘Go’ button. We were, of course, already in full swing!
Getting comfortable with ‘doing’ without necessarily knowing everything
Sure, I wasn’t comfortable buying tickets, resigning from work and selling all our stuff without the knowledge of exactly what was to come next, but I realised that I love to work through problems using the power of the analogy.
The prime analogy used here was – ‘When you go for a drive, do you have every little thing mapped out?’. It worked brilliantly to help my mind shift into gear and get a little more comfortable.
Sure, I would hop into the car, start the journey knowing where I wanted to get to. I didn’t know that there was going to be an incident ahead that would close the road – but also, I knew that if something like that did happen, I would be capable enough to go another way and still arrive at the destination. If I saw that I was running out of petrol, I would be able to find the nearest petrol station and fill up. If we got a flat tyre, I would know how to change the tyre (well, let’s be clear, probably call roadside assistance).
The fact of the matter was that I do hundreds of things a week without full knowledge of what’s going to come my way – but I start them nonetheless. Why would this journey be any different?
Humans have an incredible ability to overcome obstacles
As I stated above – I know that I”m capable to make decisions required to overcome obstacles. Fill up the tank, change direction, or in some instances, return home to go again later. This knowledge has been invaluable and of course, necessary. This journey has started, it’s changed direction, it’s paused and resumed – all with the knowledge of an ultimate destination.
I’m now confident in my ability to think on my feet and still get where I want to go. I know I’m not there yet, but the journey is fun and I get more confident every day.
Do you have a GPS? Do you know exactly what you’re going to do every day?
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve had a similar challenge that you’ve had to think on your feet to solve, rather than planning every little detail. I’d love to hear your thoughts.